How to Improve Reading Skills in Children
A great book always opens the way to children, to get to know the world, themselves, and their surroundings.
From illustrated babies’ stories, to magical stories about older children, a great book always opens the way to children, to get to know the world, themselves, and their surroundings. It greatly contributes to their mental growth, their aesthetic and linguistic development, and the development of their imagination.
But how easy is it to get our children into reading and enhance their love for books? International surveys and experts propose the following 5 (five) practices, that if followed correctly and systematically, they will lead to the creation of permanent and excited little readers!
Establish “Story” time
There is nothing to envy the television or a smart gadget a great book, if we, as parents, adults or whatever role we have for children, make reading a ritual event that is directly and impressively connected to kids’ routine. Read them a story before eating or going to bed, at home or at school. The biggest lesson of this practice, is not the joy of reading the kids acquire, but the example we as readers give to them.
Make Frequent Visits to Bookstores
Growing up in an environment full of books, gives a lot more chance for children to embody a love for reading, because their curiosity is exacerbated and they have more willingness to navigate into books. Frequent visits to the nearby bookstore from an early age is the best practice, but as an alternative, we could create a “Home Library”, placing the books on the lower shelves, so that kids have an easy and immediate access whenever they want to.
Explain to them the Importance of Reading
However, the “Story Times” and the hours at the nearby bookstore or in the “Home Library” are not enough to instil in kids the love of reading, if they themselves, do not correctly understand its significance, or if they associate it negatively in their innocent minds. Saying so, as adults, we should never enforce our children to read, nor for any reason “punish” them, telling them: “There is no “Story Times” tonight, because you were very naughty”. Children should understand reading positively. We should let them choose the books they want to read, and invest in their stories with follow-up activities!
Boost Reading with Follow-up Activities
Just because a story is neither enough to infuse all the glory of reading to children, as adults, we should also invest with follow-up activities that will inspire them, will increase their observability, and will initiate their criticism. One of the simplest things we can do, is to discuss with children the story we just read for them and ask them to make a summary. We could also ask them to split the story into parts, evaluate them and tell us which part they liked the most and why. Or maybe, we could ask them to play with the story, imagining a different ending or a reversed plot, or intriguing it with another story they recently read. For this latter, it would be great if the child kept a notebook of the books he/she has already read!
Buy them Customized-Personalized Books-Stories
Finally, if you want to try something new and very promising, you may buy your children some customized-personalized books-stories. Unlike the ordinary illustrated books, a personalized book, with the hero being your kid himself/herself, not only will make children want to read 1 and 2 and 3 times, but it will also encourage them to participate with much more enthusiasm in the follow up activities, and it will further equip them with important life-skills, such as leadership, courage etc.
Remember experts say that “readers do better” in life! As adults, it is our responsibility to invest in tomorrow’s children and get them where it are most beneficial for them. In the context of reading, you now have the instructions… Get started!