Hey there! Welcome to Saturday School. I know! I know! School on Saturday? Saturdays are meant for fun not for studies. True. And that’s why Saturday School is all about having fun and learning fun skills.
If you are a hands on parent and want your children to realise their full potential, then this is a School for you .
Here we are going to share tips on how to get your child to be a better writer; how to get him/her to fall in love with reading; how to keep her/him from saying, “But Mummy, I am so bored!”
Sounds interesting? Then join us every Saturday for fun learning at Saturday School.
Let’s Read : Making Your Baby Fall In Love With Books
Today we are going to talk about that one skill that is so important, but very often gets neglected. Yes, I am talking about reading. In my thirty five years of teaching, the one most common concern that parents have is, “How do I get my child to read?” And this concern covers all age groups from toddlers to teenagers.
As parents, in some part of our consciousness, we are aware that reading is one of the most important habits for success. Yet, very few of us consciously develop that habit in our kids. I believe it is not because we don’t want to; but rather because we don’t know how to.
At every parenting workshop that I have conducted, parents come up to me to ask, “When should I introduce my child to books?” “What kind of books should I get her/him?” “How can we fit in extracurricular reading into the kids’ already hectic schedule?”
My first memories are of me sitting on my mother’s lap looking at this big book she was holding out in front of us and listening to her reading out the poems to me. I can still see the pictures on that page, the pony kicking up his heels and the rooks flying home to their nests and mom’s voice reciting, “The evening is coming, the sun sinks to rest, the rooks are all flying straight home to their nests…..”
But more than just the poem, it was the feel of being cuddled up against mom, feeling secure and safe. I guess that is the feeling I get even today when I read a book. Reading is my happy place; my safe haven when things go wrong. It never fails to make me feel better.
Bernice E Cullinan in her book, Read to Me – Raising Kids Who Love To Read, says we need to teach our kids to read, in much the same way as we teach them to talk.
While it might seem that our kids learn to talk naturally, we are in fact teaching them from the moment they are born. We surround them with language. We talk to them all the time. We sing lullabies to them. We don’t say. “Oh but they are too young to understand what we are saying.” So why then do so many of us make that excuse when we have to read to our kids? The more we read out to our kids when they are babies, the higher the probability that they will grow to be readers.
Cullinan says that there are three steps to reading: Read aloud, read along and read alone. We start by reading aloud to our kids and as they grow, they read along with us. They can read even before they learn the alphabet. This is because they read by association. The word is a picture. It is a drawing. It is a graphic representation of a sound and children pick up on this quickly. As their confidence grows, they start reading on their own and very often there is no stopping them.
There is another reason to introduce kids to books before they go to school. Did you like your school text books? Be honest. Most of the school text books are boring. Besides, there is the pressure that we have to study what is in them and we are going to be tested on that in some way or the other. We can’t take our own time, meandering through the words or stories like we do with other books.
If this is the child’s first experience with books and reading, do you really think she/he will enjoy reading? Or will it be something that they would rather get out of doing?
“The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. And that means, at its simplest, finding books that they enjoy, giving them access to those books, and letting them read them.”
On the other hand, if you as a parent, introduce your child to books much before they go to school, you can choose the kind of books that you know your child will love; bright happy books with lots of picture and big print. Books that tell stories that can be revisited time and again. Books that become their friends.
You might ask, “But my child is older. Is it too late?” No it isn’t. Look out for the next post on “Let’s Read”, to find out what we can do to make our older kids not just develop the habit of reading, but become passionate about it.
What you can expect at #SaturdaySchool – 1. Let’s Read :
How to get your child to fall in love with books 2. Have you read? Reviews of book that your child will enjoy reading 3. Author interviews: Getting to know the people behind the books 4. Let’s Write: Exercises in Creative Writing
See you next Saturday!