How to Make Your Child to Read More
Like many of us we would rather swap the book for the gadget and this is no different when it comes to your child. According to the Department of Education in 2014 ‘one in five children cannot read well by the age of 11’ (1) also England is the only country where ‘16-24’ (1) reading skills are a lot lower than that of their older citizens. While I’m not a parent its almost frightening how not too long ago it was myself that needed to learn to read and was told the importance of maintaining a good level of reading. Let me share some advice on how to get your child to read more. When thinking about this at first I wouldn’t know straight away how to get them to read more but thinking more about it, it’s actually easier than you think it just takes the right determination to help them read more.
Firstly, give your child a specific time to read and spend it with them. This could be the bed time story before bed or after tea time. This will get your child used to reading and will start doing it out of habit. I understand that old habits die hard but routine will certainly help the process. It is recommended that a child have a routine for things like sleeping and eating, but why cannot this be the same for reading? In my opinion it is needed just as much as both sleeping and eating. Just like it is healthy for a child to get a certain amount of hours of sleep it is also important for them to get a certain amount of time reading. It has also been the classic way recommended to get your child to read it was the way I was taught my mum would always after school and in between helping me with homework try and get me to read this method just had to go first in my opinion it has been the traditional way and in some ways you could argue it works having that quality time dedicated to reading will get your child used to it. They may start getting into it without even realising.
Secondly, often associated with incorporating reading into their routine, try and find and something they like so reading is associated with fun. There are even apps where you can put a lock on their phone or gadget to ensure you’re given this time- like before their bed time or after dinner you can do this. Is there a TV programme they enjoy? Use subtitles to get them to read. Any films they like? Is there a book version available for their age? I would use this one more to get them to read while on holiday or during family time when you are watching a film together I would incorporate this alongside having time with your child dedicated to reading. I think it is a more subtle way to get them to read more especially if the problem is that when you try and focus on reading it is not as successful it is something to try in the meantime. Looking back I remember a friend of mine who was not from England had used this idea to help her learn English, her English seemed fluent and so when I asked her why she had the subtitles on she said that how her English improves. I guess getting used to how the word sounds and as your reading the subtitles getting used to the spelling and pronunciation of letters could also be just as useful for your child as learning a language would in familiarising yourself with the words so not only have you got advice for getting your child to read more but also if they want to learn a new language too.
Technology doesn’t have to be the enemy when it comes to reading. Although it is a massive contrast to sitting with your child and reading it book you can do this with your child too and it may be an alternative your child may like. I have already mentioned the use of the TV and its enabling of subtitles so children can not only enjoy their favourite programmes but have fun doing so too. Although unlike when I was younger we now have the availability of eBooks and apps that highly encourage children to read. I would have loved this when I was younger as for me it was mostly by the book we were encouraged to read and remember it wasn’t too long ago this had happen to me so this is a massive change in getting your child to read and in all aspects of education in general, when used positively can be a useful resource for reading that’s what you and your child may find. These apps also encourage children to enjoy their favourite films and TV programmes as books. Straight away I can tell you that Disney have launched an app where you can access books and as a reward you can allow them access to the movies and it is up to you if you feel that having the subtitles on is a way you like your child to continue their reading. The plus side with the inclusion of technology when trying to make your child read more is that unless you plan to take the TV abroad you could probably stick with the smart phone or the iPad, so not only is it fun it is also portable too.
Another way then you could get your child to read is by using pictures. I feel this is great especially for those at the start of their reading journey. I am sure we have all found reading boring at times , this may be how your child feels about reading have some pictures helps the child capture their imagination and really get into the story. I must admit even as an adult I would not mind the odd book with pictures in it me. Just like how they may prefer the gadget they also would like to be entertained by the story as would you pictures is certainly a way to go about this. You may find that when it comes to reading in some way your child is no different to you and vice versa. Pictures are just a bit of guidance enabling them to do this that’s all. Plus we must not forget as useful as they are they certainly keep your child’s attention captured even I can find at my age loads of words boring at time so you just have to keep making things as fun as possible for you and your child whenever you can.
A further way that has been suggested to help get your child to read more suggested by Pearson UK ‘joining the local library’(2). This I feel is great way to really find something they enjoy which is something I mentioned earlier as reading the book version of a programme or film that you know they enjoy to help make reading more fun. Moreover, many libraries holding reading weeks or months in which they focus their attention on trying to get kids to read and may be further guidance if you feel you are struggling in trying to get your child to read.
I remember when I was a bit younger was that there were reading challenges , some of these are aimed at children in secondary school or later in primary school but setting small goals with the help of the library can really help your child to engage in reading and can be rewarding too as some of these have prizes. I know when I was younger there was a summer challenge one to read a certain amount of books over the holidays doing this can earn book tokens or a gift card or a discount of books , they can not only be fun but extremely rewarding. Go to your local library and see if they have anything or if there is anyway they can assist you and your child in your reading journey. Either the library is a good resource I went when I was younger for good books to read that I would find interesting I remember my mum taking me there and it helped make me read more so this is a personal favourite of mine I would have also liked the idea of having the technology more involved such as eBooks but it is down to personal preference of course what method is working best for your child.
A way that Pearson suggested of which I would critique is to read their favourites over and over again. While there is nothing wrong with this I feel reading as many materials as possible will let your child see more words in different way and also learn about new stories and experience more adventures when reading which will also become beneficial. Reading the same book over and over again in my opinion may bore the child and may not fully engage them into the enjoyment of what they are reading. Wouldn’t you get bored reading the same thing over and over again too? So I wouldn’t personally recommend this for your child unless this was spaced out so that they can really appreciate it. However the repetition I would agree with would be the repeating of sounds and phrases to help them to learn to read whatever the book they are likely to come over new words to widen their vocabulary but they should get used to the sounding of letters of similar words and phrases to get used to them this is vital in the child learning to read and why your child should read more. A final way of trying to get your child to read which I have found and would like to comment upon is from the United States Reading is Fundamental Organisation which is one I didn’t think of and maybe one you may not have thought of either in trying to get your child to read. It is to become a good reader yourself Being very honest here you probably might not enjoy reading as much as you would like to and this is exactly the same for your child. However hard you may try they are just not engaging but you cannot deny that parents do copy the actions of their children so it makes sense that by involving reading in the household and becoming a good role model for reading it is likely that reading will just become an everyday thing to them and maybe even to you. Not once did this tip come to mind when thinking about this but it seems so obvious they would see it as an activity they can join in and spend time with you doing. The only critique I have to this is from when I was growing up, my dad was an avid reader but because he worked long hours reading was more for his downtime. I looked more to my mum who helped me after school but was not much of a reader herself. It is because of this contrast reading was not a huge part of my f