How to Raise a Reader
We as humans tend to repeat activities over and over again if they bring us pleasure. We may listen to the same music, visit the same restaurants, watch re-runs of the same TV shows, provided they appeal to our brain in a pleasurable manner.
Similarly, we will actively avoid experiences that bring us displeasure. More often than not, kids as well as adults tend to associate reading with displeasure. The boring, tedious, threatening and many times meaningless reading forced upon us due to academic expectations, unknowingly make us associate reading as a painful activity to pursue.
If children barely experience the pure joy of reading and are expected to read only for the sake of filling in endless hours of worksheets after, the natural consequence will be – withdrawal.
Ways to Raise a Reader
- Reading as a habit cannot be taught, it is caught.
Like many other traits and habits that children pick up from adults, the easiest way to raise a reader is to be a reader. As a parent, you want to be regularly seen reading a book during your free time. Before bed, on holidays and on weekends; when you have time off from your busy schedule, read.
- Surround your Child with Books
No matter the space constraints, your home should have dedicated spaces for books no matter what. Create a comfortable looking reading nook in your home that the family likes to spend time in. Also make sure there are racks or stacks of books lying around the house. The best spots to stack books are the ones where the child most of the time when indoors.
- Get a Library Card
I am always grateful that Little Miss A has access to a well-stocked library, run by people who are passionate about books and reading. Getting a membership at the local library is not only a great way to bring home more books that you wouldn’t otherwise buy or store at home, but it is also a great way to give your child the freedom to choose the kind of books he/she likes.
Make Reading Fun
When adults take out time to read to a child, we essentially help create happy memories for them. The idea is to positively condition the brain to associate books and the written word with pleasure.