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How to Develop Love for Reading among Children

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

"There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all," according to Jackie Kennedy (wife of the 35th US President John F. Kennedy). I agree!

As far as I can remember, my interest in reading started as early as seven years old. I used to memorize stories in my Grade 1 English textbook. One of my sisters who worked here in Manila would also buy books as  her pasalubong whenever she comes home during holidays or summer vacation.  I borrowed Sweet Valley High, Nancy Drew, other classic novels from my classmates. I was also a regular customer in the "pocketbooks for rent" stall in my hometown during high school days. That's how I develop my love for reading which I believe contributed a lot in my passion for writing. 

Now that I have my own kids already, one of my dreams is to train them to become prolific book readers. My eldest is showing interest in almost all aspects of communication. Allow me to be a proud momma a bit... She loves to read, she's good in grammar and spelling, and speaks Filipino and English language quite well. She recently joined their school's reading club and asked me to look for a book that she will read and share to her classmates and schoolmates.  Since we don't have enough books at home, I browsed my e-book collection and found "Life of Pi" there. We already saw the movie adaptation of that fantasy novel so I think it will help her to make her story-telling easier.  Well, we still have to buy the book itself.

The photo below was taken during our holiday vacation in my hometown in 2015. She read "Frozen" with her cousin and playmates. 



BTW, that's my first-ever design project through canva.com

Now, let us go to the main topic. Here are some tips on how to be a bookworm:

1. Read to your children. Develop early readers by allotting certain time for reading together with your kids. Setting up a home library (with age-appropriate collection) is highly recommended. 

2. Keep it fun, for everyone.  As you read with your kids, encourage their involvement through question and answer.  Creating activities like role-play, games related to the stories will also make reading enjoyable and interesting. 

3. Set goals. Set reading goals for the entire year, for each month, for each week or even everyday. Pick what's applicable to them. My daughter's  reading club is doing that. They have this so-called Reading Report Card for the teachers to monitor students' progress in reading. 

4. Building your own library need not be expensive. Buy cheap, pre-owned books to complete your collection or watch out for sales of brand new books at National Bookstore or Fully-booked.... this tip is actually for me... I've been meaning to set-up a library as home but it's still in my to-do list until now. 

5. Limit your or your kids' time in the Internet. Internet is one of the biggest distractions to reading or any worthwhile activities. To fully engage in reading and achieve the goals set, stay away from all Internet-connected gadgets or put mobile phone on silent mode while reading.  If you opt to consult dictionary for term unfamiliar to you, use an actual dictionary. 

So there you have it, few tips on developing love for reading....

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