Raising life-long readers

Hello friends,

This is my 50th blog post!!! I am super excited… A journey which had just begun to jot my thoughts has come a long way. I have made many friends and learnt different perspectives on this path.

The blog post today is on the most important topic, close to my heart- READING!!!

Reading is foundation of learning in today’s world. Reading is a skill required to decode the alphabets, know sounds and understand the meaning of words. It helps to build vocabulary and strengthen comprehension.

In India, more emphasis is given on memorising the topic for exams. When we study to get more marks than to understand what we are taught, sadly we miss to educate ourselves. Reading should be the routine activity in a child’s life at the earliest.

In schools, very less time and efforts are put into making reading an integral part of the curriculum. When we spend more time making the foundation (via reading) of students strong, we can have better writers, speakers and thinkers, in turn have visionaries.

Reading will be easily acquired if we could take following steps:

Becoming role models: When children see adults around them reading, they will show keen interest in reading themselves.

Reading when children are young: Reading different, colorful and age-appropriate books for young children is the key to raise lifelong readers.

Setting a regular reading time: Prioritizing time for reading daily is important and preferably at same time.

Distraction-free reading time: Putting off electronic devices like TV, mobile phones etc. will help child to enjoy reading.

Surround children with books: Having books at home in their childhood will help children to have easy access to the wonderful world of books.

Re-reading books: Books can be re-read multiple times. This will help children feel confident with words in books and also learn different things each time they read.

Investing v/s spending: Understanding that the money spent on books are investment for their deeper knowledge and better future.

Having right mindset: When we invest money in books we tend to overthink. We are okay to spend hundred Rupees on chocolates than on a good book.

Positive messages about reading: Children tend to form opinions based on what they hear in their homes and surrounding. Speak about how good books can help us grow and how reading expands our knowledge.

Make friends with avid readers: Those who enjoy reading will have number of book suggestions to make. This would help us know which books can be read.

Visiting libraries and bookstores: It’s a great way to know about books available for your children. Buying some books and borrowing books regularly from library will surely help to build reading habit.

Trying different genres(categories): There are different categories of books covering diverse aspects of our world. If your child doesn’t enjoy particular category, try different books.

Let child choose the books: Choosing books would help the child to connect with books selected by him/her.

Asking questions: When you read to children, ask them questions about the book e.g. Whether they liked it, what was the book about, is there any other way the story could end etc.

Focus on enjoying books: As we begin our journey into raising readers, we got to focus more on enjoying the book than concentrating on reading development of child.

Choose humorous and unique books: Selecting humorous books will help child to associate with fun element. New age books like touch-and-feel, pop-up, push-and-pull, lift-the- flap etc. definitely build curiosity and wonder among children.

Gifting books: Books are great gifts. Consider gifting books on their special days.

Continue to learn: We need to upgrade ourselves about best-selling books, all-time favorite books etc. by doing online research, following authors/ libraries websites etc.

If you have any other suggestions, do share with us. If want to start raising readers, do contact me. I would be glad to help… 😊

Shambhavi Naik (Shilpa) ©2021

Raising life-long readers

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