Give them a head start
One thing that parents the world over want is to give their children the best and prepare them for all that life may throw at them. The gift of literacy will open so many doors for your child and give them a head start on life as being able to read means we are able to learn. A great way to put your child’s feet on the road to literacy is for you to read aloud to them.
It is never too soon to start reading to your child, starting from birth, you can bestow the pleasure of reading to your child. Your newborn will respond just to the sound of your voice and the expressions you use. They will also get to know the touch, smell and colour of books. Read aloud daily to your baby and experiment by using different voices and making all those funny animal sounds! Even reading the shopping list aloud will captivate your child if you read it with a lot of expression!! As your baby gets older it is important to include books that are childproof so that he or she may handle them without destroying them.
Make it a habit
Humans love routine. To instill a lifelong reading habit you need to make it an important everyday routine. Find a time which is convenient to all in your family, snuggle up and read to your child. Continue this habit, even as your child starts to be able to read on his or her own. Read books together, read to each other. If you establish that reading is for pleasure your child will happily “read” his book with the rest of the family.
Books are attractive and appeal to the sense of adventure in each of us. They take you away from the humdrum of the daily routine and into worlds to be explored. And they increase your child’s knowledge of the world around him and the faraway places with their different cultures. So books deserve a special place in your home. Try to create a special nook in your child’s room with bookshelves at a level comfortable for him or her to reach his/her books. Bookshelves in the lounge with somewhere comfy to sit, snuggle and read together are also a good idea.
Join your local library
Books are expensive, so a local library can be a great source for your child. Join them up from when they are a toddler and take them to the special story sessions which are sometimes offered. Sitting and listening to a story is a great way for your child to learn to sit still and focus as well as enjoy the whole atmosphere, surrounded by books.
Keep it up
Reading aloud is valuable time for you and your child and creates a bond. As your child gets older and more fluent in his reading, you can take turns in reading passages from a book and discussing what it all means. Reading together means you can participate in those adventures together with your child as well as giving you the opportunity to discuss and analyse the different characters.
All parents can give the gift of reading aloud to their child. It provides a bonding opportunity and a routine that both parent and child can enjoy together. And best of all it is never too late to start. So if you haven’t already got into the habit, start today. Your child will thank you for this precious gift!
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