Sunday, June 20, 2010
A LIFETIME GIFT TO YOUR CHILDREN
“To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” said W. Somerset Maugham. When there were no televisions or computers, reading was a primary leisure activity. People would spend hours reading books and travel to lands far away-in their minds. While technology is slowly taking a steady control over individual lives, the reading habit is fast vanishing into thin air.
Nowadays though we all want to develop reading habit, time constraints and lack of interest always puts this habit in the back burner. But we need to resurrect this habit for ourselves and our children. If we want to gift our children something real precious then we should think of reading habit. It can be a lifetime gift that our children are going to cherish forever. Despite the deep penetrating reach of the visual media, books have a definite edge over other mediums of communication and entertainment.
Books are good portable friends, which have the potential of engaging a child's mind, They can broaden the sphere of experience. A quick read of the adventures of Sindbad, or Alibaba, or Robin Hood transports the children to different worlds. They can relate to new and thrilling experiences, quite different from everyday happenings. The variety in the book reading is bound to reflect in the children's knowledge.
Child psychologists and counselors have often stressed the importance of the reading habit in modern-day children. Reading sharpens the thought processes of children. It increases their attention span. It gives them the faculty of thinking and understanding. Language is a gift for children and books give this gift in abundance. Reading a book aloud can be a good exercise not just for memorization but also for improvement of speech and vocabulary. Books trigger children's imagination.
It is observed that children and teenagers who love reading have comparatively higher IQs. They are more creative and do better in school and college. It is recommended that teachers and parents to inculcate the importance of reading to children in the early years. The children who start reading from an early age are observed to have good language skills, and they grasp the variances in phonics much better.
Here are some simple suggestions you can use to help your child develop reading skills:
• To stimulate reading, keep a lot of reading materials in your house. This will increase your child's access to books and printed material. Help them understand that reading doesn't only happen at school — it can happen anywhere. Studies suggest that learners who read outside of school are more successful readers and students.
• Make sure that your children observe you reading on a regular basis. When your child sees you reading regularly, it will reinforce the importance of reading.
• Bedtime reading is considered the best quality time spent with a kid. Psychiatrists feel that bedtime reading helps to build strong bonding with the child. Reading aloud helps to build a strong emotional bond between parents and children.
• Reduce your time on TV and internet. Every minute you reduce of internet/TV, you could use for reading. This could create hours of book reading time.
• Recommending or providing right kind of books to children is equally important. Thrusting upon children a book which is of little or no interest to it is a sure way of killing their appetite rather whetting it. Presenting books to children on occasions like birthday, New Year and other festive occasions would also go a long way in creating reading interest in the children.
• Start telling an interesting story to your children and stop in the middle. Don’t finish it. Then give them the book and tell them to read rest of the story from the book. This trick works wonder and develops curiosity in the children.
• As your children become better readers, talk about what they are reading. When they finish a new story or reading assignment, discuss the main ideas, new words and concepts, and your children's favorite section. This will help strengthen your children's reading comprehension skills.