Sustaining the Habit of Reading in the Times of Coronavirus
“The most challenging of the tasks during this COVID era has been to make my children read” states a frustrated Amena; a mother of two children, one in the primary years and the other in middle school. “It was much easier for me to monitor them and ask them to read and follow the schedule when they knew they had to report to their teacher. The school environment is just so integral for sustaining discipline in young people” she continues.
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Like Amena, there have been many parents worldwide trying to strike a balance for their children to maintain their healthy habits, which not only helps them develop academically but also grow in every aspect. Reading is one of such instrumental habits that young children should develop and more importantly sustain. But, unfortunately, the general scales of reading show a descending trend in the upcoming generation and especially during the COVID times, as for some to maintain a healthy lifestyle for their children has become so challenging.
Many schools are now reopening worldwide, however, there are many countries still grappling with the threat of the pandemic. School or no school, the following are a few ideas for parents to ensure their kids are reading and happily doing so.
1. Give your students something that interests them.
Most of the time we suggest children read books that we used to read or think that they should read rather than looking at their interests and what they would like to explore and know about. If we provide them with books of their own liking and offer them something that excites them, we would get much better results.
For example, a kid that is very much into Lego would probably enjoy reading a manual for designing a helicopter using Lego bricks! Hence the idea: Give them something of their own interest!
2. Schedule a set reading time.
I remember every afternoon after lunch during school days, my sister and I used to carry our lemon sherbets and sit with our much-anticipated novels, hooked to each word, excited for the last day’s adventures to then continue.
We usually would wait for that particular time of the day when we would hold our books and jump into a world of our own. Kids these days need this kind of motivation and routine in order to read. Once something is done voluntarily every day, especially a rewarding habit like reading, it bears endless fruits and becomes an excellent source of entertainment as well!
3. Offer your child an incentive.
The love of shopping is innate in human beings and once you tell your children they can buy a book of their own, it not only encourages them to read more but also gives them the autonomy to make their choices. This also makes them responsible to read their own selection and explore their interests.
4. Don't let them read alone - read with them.
Children tend to learn more through actions than through telling. Hence the best method to ensure that children develop the habit of reading is to make sure you do it in front of them. You cannot simply expect your child to read when you spend all your time on social media or in front of the television screen. That's why when you make your child read, read along with them.
5. Share stories with the kids.
Children love to be heard. They love it when something fascinates their parents. Why not let them share the content of the book with you?
Genuinely ask them what the story was about and how they thought about a particular chapter or the end of the book. Your natural interest in the book motivates the children to remain curious about the rest of the happenings to keep you amazed at their discoveries.
Make sure you contribute to the discussion and listen well. One of the best readers share what they read and somehow review their books with their friends, parents, or teachers.
Are you ready to become a better reader?
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