Emile Buchwald once said, "Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." How can we help young children become readers? These tips can help:
- Read words in the environment. This is helpful for children who are just learning to read. Point out a stop sign or easy labels at the shops and ask them what they say.
- Let the child choose the book. Don’t make them read books they find boring.
- Read. Children learn by imitating what their caregivers do, so if they see you reading, they’ll follow your example. You could have a special reading time, if your child is old enough, when you both read your own books quietly together.
- Keep as many books in the home as possible so they’re part of your daily life. Talk about the books you have and add to your collection when possible.
- Use reading a story as a reward for good behaviour – never as a punishment or as a consequence of ‘bad’ behaviour. If a child has to go for a time-out, don’t make them read as part of the time-out. If reading is seen as part of a punishment a child will think about it in a negative way.