How to foster the joy of reading in children

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Developing the habit of reading in children is not at all quite complicated but it does require a deliberate effort to do it.

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Reading is probably one of the best escape from the pressures of life, next to traveling. However, with the popularity of electronic gadgets and video streaming services and applications, reading has experienced a decline among the youth. Honestly, I will also have to admit that it has been around months since I last held a book, which by the way, remains unfinished up to now. 

Fostering the joy of reading in children

How to foster the joy of reading in children




    The joy of reading 


    While movies and videos are an easy way to get lost from the world, that does not mean that I have forgotten about the joys of reading altogether. I do miss holding and reading a book a lot and, given all the time in the world, I will spend a good chunk of it flipping through pages of a book and getting lost in the story. However, I get distracted a lot because of the work involved in promoting my blog posts as well as creating social media content. 

    Introducing my children to reading


    Reading is a wonderful habit that I also want my children to acquire. But again, the presence of gadgets at home is proving to be challenging. Even so, that does not mean that I have to give up on it just yet. 

    Here is how I try to incorporate reading in our daily activities: 

    1. Set aside time for reading 


    Setting aside time for reading should be a deliberate effort in order to introduce and form the habit of reading in children. There is no ideal time for it but we found bedtime to be a good opportunity for it when our toddler is a little sleepy and already winding down. 

    Aside from bedtime, early morning is also a great time to read because children are not yet too keen on getting out of bed. It’s a great activity to start their day! Keep in mind, too, that it does not always necessarily have to be a book that you will read. You can flip through magazines, alphabet cards (my eldest son loves this), and even packaging and product labels. 

    2. Buy books that children will find attractive and interesting 


    If you are buying books for your little one, make sure that it is colorful, attractive, and with the right balance of text in each page. After all, you have to pull and maintain their attention when you are reading to them.

    Age-appropriate books should do the trick well. It’s just a good thing that most modern children’s books are beautifully-designed and very eye-catching with their bright colors. 

    Fostering the joy of reading among children through Adarna books
    Adarna books

    We recently bought several books from Adarna Books. Khris and I were the most excited when they arrived at our house. The designs are impressive and the stories are well-written and full of values. I personally loved reading them because the stories brought back a lot of childhood memories. 

    We made a bit of a blunder though because the books that we bought were made for eight-year-olds. But the illustrations are still so colorful and the stories are still amusing. A side note though is that I am exposing my children to the Tagalog language (well, both to English and Tagalog). 

    It is my first language (Nueva Ecija/Bulacan Tagalog) which I find to be beautiful. I do not want my children to grow up thinking that their language is inferior to English and that it should be relegated as a language of the uneducated. Anyway, that’s another story altogether. 

    3. Do not force it 


    The most important thing to keep in mind is to never force reading to your children. Let them appreciate it at their own pace. Admittedly, we were a bit worried at first because our firstborn had no interest in reading while children of the same age were already reciting “apples” and “bananas” with much enthusiasm. Anyway, we realized that we just have to let him be. 

    He still watches videos in his iPad but he is now more interested in alphabet songs. We taught him how to read through flashcards but he would not pay attention. We thought that he was just disinterested. Then one day, he began picking up random cards and reciting the letters and reading the example words for each letter. 

    We were astounded because he remembered our mini lessons. He would forget some words and remember others but it still made us happy that he had progress (he has Global Developmental Delay but, again, that’s another story). 

    Anyway, my point is to not pressure our children to learn because they will eventually learn things in their own time. 

    Epilogue 


    Reading books may have experienced some decline in this day and age because of the popularity of gadgets and streaming services. However, that does not mean that reading should be neglected altogether. It brings a lot of joy and stimulates imagination and creativity and that is something that I want to develop in my children.

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