Reading and writing are two highly essential skills for a child’s development. In fact, many studies have proven that reading alone helps reduce signs of depression and build stronger empathy among young people.
Now that we have entered the age of devices and technology, it has become even more important for parents and carers to encourage their children to enhance their reading and writing skills and consider these activities fun and exciting.
Doing so will improve other related abilities, such as their focus, imagination, and creativity. Of course, it’s only natural for some parents and guardians to experience some resistance from children whenever they suggest reading and writing exercises over some video games.
However, this should be handled from the get-go. As the number of young people who consider reading a hobby continues to decrease, now is the ideal time for adults to take on the task of inspiring the younger generation to develop a love for written words.
Here’s a simple but effective guide on how to encourage children to read and write more at home and develop a love for learning in general. This is especially helpful to those who find it challenging to improve their literacy skills:
Start with their own names.
When introducing new concepts to preschool children, such as writing, one way to pique their interest is by making it relevant to them. Experts in Tootgarook note that there’s nothing else more relevant to them that their own names. So, start by helping them get familiar with the lines and curves of the letters.
Start by pointing out the letters in their names when you see them in prints everywhere, whether it’s on their shirt, billboards or posters. This could be a fun bonding activity, too.
Read and write with them.
Once your children start going to school, it’s ideal for encouraging them to read even at home, as this would make them more advanced for their age. Do regular reading exercises at home after school and make sure to check that they understood what they read.
When you read to them, make the experience as interactive as possible. Ask them some important points about the story, and you can also ask them to describe the characters and what they think of them. Continue the exercises until they’re the ones reading and asking comprehension questions to you.
In terms of writing, it’s also important to start early, as the pressure of schoolwork for them is still a lot more manageable. The same is true for spelling. If you notice consistent mistakes, address the problem as early as you can so it won’t turn into a habit.
Write some simple words and sentences and ask your child to copy them. You can also relate writing and drawing to make it more visually enjoyable for them.
Allow them to be in the driver’s seat often.
This is a highly effective approach not to make learning a one-way street. When educating children, many of them often experience control from adults and are not left with choices as to what they can and cannot do. This, in turn, causes them to dislike and withdraw from learning.
Yes, it’s important for adults to take the lead as their children go through the entire learning process. But, it’s also equally important to let children have a say when it comes to their own learning experience.
Whether it’s inside the classroom or at home, make them feel that they have a choice. Ask for their opinions and provide options: “What story do you want to read today?” or “Do you want to practice writing big letters today?”
Developing good reading and writing skills at an early age is essential for your child’s success. Spend time with them and keep them motivated as they go through the journey.