This article also was published in Jagran City Plus, Bangalore ,2010
Reading aloud to your child encourages a child to read with passion as a person’s entire life depends on reading... a textbook, signs, symbols, and notices and so on... Parents can give the child the joy of reading a little over what a teacher gives in a school.
Visuals have more impact on children than reading print. Always choose a book with 80 % pictures and 20 % reading material that too in bold print of the interest level of the child.
The mere thrill of holding a book in hand gives immense joy to a child and the ownership adds a value to it. This will boost the child’s confidence. Allow the child to handle books; it increases the child’s attachment to the book.
Teach the child to respect the book by placing in its place and not throw or drop.
Select the books and show only the book of the child’s level; which you want the child to start reading instead of throwing all the books and you may end up with the main purpose defeated.
Choose a time when you will not be disturbed at all. Enjoy every minute of reading to the child. It is advisable to have the same time everyday, as it will tune the child’s mind to expect the reading task.
Read for ten minutes a day. Create the right atmosphere, be in a relaxed mood, and sit down with your child. Let your child hold the book.
Give an introduction about the book like… this is about animals, birds etc.
Show the pictures first and then start reading aloud with expression. Simultaneous running of your finger along the line involves the hand-eye coordination. So, when you read, involve your child by pointing to the words in a line. The child also comes to know that the words move from left to right.
Ensure the child looks at you when you read first. Otherwise, the purpose is defeated. When the child looks at you, it comes to know the pronunciation, expression and interest. Later this will help the child while reading. The child develops the listening skill and understands the written word.
Read a long or difficult word for the child by splitting the words into syllables, e.g. hippo- pota- mus, cro-co-dile, pea- cock etc.
Read for two, three minutes to find out the child’s concentration span, if interested the child will itself make you to go ahead in reading out. If your child is distracted, give break. At the same time, create interest to continue reading.
Encourage the child to read along with you or ’repeat after me’. Find out whether the child is able to come out with the next word before you read by pausing. The best way to encourage a child in reading is to praise the child for her / his effort.
There is no dearth of good books. Go for your child’s favourite story of interest, as it is always desired to go from known to unknown.
Once the child gets the feel of the words, after a day or two, concentrate on the pronunciation, expression and the pause.
The following things will make your child dislike reading in the first place itself.
To begin with, do not dictate the child to read a book of your choice to start reading. On the contrary, read the child’s mind and say it politely the reason for your choice. The child should know that you would go along with her /his interest in the first place.
If not holding the book properly, teach politely how to hold the book.
Never correct in- between- reading because mistakes are apart of life, so ignore them.
Never shout or talk loudly. This will demotivate a child from reading.
Never show your impatience, anger, disappointment and frustration.
Never express the lack of interest of the child towards reading.
Never discuss the child’s progress with others unless it is positive.
Highlight the good points to build confidence in the child.
Let the child correct the pronunciation by repeating the words.
Do not ask the child to spell in the beginning, spelling comes later.
A mother can make or break reading habit in children.