7 ways to spark a love of reading
26 July, 2016
There’s a saying that goes, “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader”.
We couldn’t agree more. Learning to read is a foundational skill. It is essential not only for success in school and beyond, but also for the development of our cognitive abilities such as reasoning and deduction.
Learning to read is the first step in raising tomorrow’s leaders. If we want to see children succeed our efforts must go beyond helping children master basic literacy.
To cultivate leaders, we need to encourage readers. To do this, we have to help children develop a love of reading.
Why is reading for pleasure so important?
Why Encourage Your Child To Read For Pleasure
Let’s start with the basics – reading for the fun of it helps children learn and master literacy skills. When your little one begins to learn to read, the more they practice, the better they become at their newfound skill, and the more they will begin to enjoy it.
The knock-on benefits are astounding. As children begin to read for enjoyment, they’ll improve their writing ability, vocabulary, general knowledge and comprehensions skills, all while growing in confidence and self-esteem.
It has such a powerful effect that research even states that reading for pleasure has a stronger impact on a child’s educational achievement than their family’s socio-economic status.
Academics aside, an enjoyment of reading encourages children to have empathy, and broadens their understanding of the world and different cultures. It also has numerous health benefits for later in life, like reducing stress, depression, and the risk of dementia.
You may be thinking, “My child is a struggling reader. It is hard enough to get him to tolerate it. Encouraging him to love reading seems near to impossible.”
We understand this might seem an insurmountable task, which is why we’ve put together our top tips for encouraging a love of reading.
Ways You Can Spark A Love Of Reading
The benefits of reading for pleasure are compelling, but how do you begin to encourage your child? Since we started helping children learn to read in 2006, we’ve worked with almost 13,000 struggling readers and have seen these seven tips have tangible results.
- Make reading a part of your children’s everyday lives.
- Read to your children every day.
- Engage in the story. A great way to do this is by speaking in different voices for different characters and using lots of expression.
- Encourage children to choose books to read; they’re more likely to stay interested in a story they’ve chosen.
- Play literacy games to help your child learn new words and read more fluently. Not sure where to start? Download our free literacy games on our Resources page.
- Read books in English and your children’s mother tongue. Nal’ibali have a range of free stories in their Story Library that are available in various South African languages.
- Visit your local library. A trip to the library can do wonders to inspire children to read, and lending from the library ensures children have access to books at home.
Now it’s your turn. We would love to hear how you help your child cultivate a love for reading. Leave a comment or tweet us @help2read.