In a world where entertainment is right in our hands, one may wonder, what is the point of reading? In today’s fast paced world reading habit is becoming a dying habit as there are faster alternatives to consume information on the internet or social media.
One of the most important reasons why reading is crucial is because reading habit is food for our brains. Just like how the body needs food and water to sustain itself and function optimally, the brain needs to continue learning new things to function at peak performance. The best part about reading is that any genre be it fiction or nonfiction can help with this benefit. It is critical to train our brains continuously to keep it sharp and at its prime.
Studies have shown that reading habit has the power to change the brain structure which makes a child more empathetic and improves cognitive progression. More reading makes a child smarter since they are consuming a lot of information at once which helps to keep the brain in top shape. There is a famous quote from a very famous TV show “My brother has his sword, King Robert has his Warhammer, and I have my mind… and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge”
Books help to improve the vocabulary which can then be used to express thought in a better articulated way. A great reading habit can help a child’s speech to become refined overtime and can help them converse in a more intelligent and polished manner. Reading habits inculcated regularly can widen the knowledge base, which empowers them to form their own opinions and take part in interesting conversations and dialogues.
Developing good reading habits for nonfiction can come in handy to improve knowledge for a specific topic or a concept. For example, reading about technology can build up their interest towards technological advancements. Whereas reading about personality and psychological themes can bring about self-awareness and importance to our own mental and emotional well-being. Reading fiction can also be one of the good reading habits to help a child’s imaginative and creative abilities. For example, children can conduct a comparison to a movie that was released based on a fictional book that they have already read like Harry Potter.
Reading habits of students can improve focus and concentration. In this fast-paced world today, people have weaker and shorter attention spans. Reading a book can fix this lack of attention and can improve as well as elongate the attention duration. While reading a book the attention is only focused on the story and one might be fully immersed.
Keeping all these benefits in mind here are some tips and ways to improve reading habits of students
Start early: start reading to the child as early as 6 months old. So many new mothers wait for their child until they start recognizing letters and learning sounds to read to them hoping that they would understand faster. A child’s brain is developing at such an impressive fast pace that they absorb so much stimulus from such a young age. For such small children of 6-10 months old board books of about four or five pages long are generally suggested.
Create a reading routine: when parents are trying to inculcate a habit, it is important to push the habit a little into their daily routine. It is generally suggested to demarcate at least half an hour for reading throughout the day. This is the time parents need to push their kids a bit that at that allocated time they need to drop everything and just pick up any book. It does not matter if it is before sleeping or during the evening, the best time is whatever time that works.
Replace screen time with books: specially during feeding time or during meals. Children can be difficult eaters and it can be an easier way out for parents if they have an iPad or a screen during the meals. This screen time can be replaced with a book. Parents can read their child’s favorite book or a book of their child’s choice while they are eating their food. This way they could get absorbed in the story and would make less of a fuss while eating.
Give an incentive: this tip can work for kids of all ages. An incentive does not mean a candy or a treat, an incentive here means a specific amount allocated per month only dedicated to buying books. Parents can take their kids to a bookstore and give them free reign. This also helps the kids to develop some budgeting skills as well.
Don’t impose your book ideas: as a parent we are always concerned about what choices our children make even when it comes to books. Parents expect their children to read certain kinds of books, maybe some classics, or ideals, or certain authors which they approve of. Parents must try to restrain themselves to a certain extent and let the children choose which direction they want to go in case of the books they want to read.
Join or start a book club: a book club can be very beneficial for older kids and younger kids as well. Kids love being a part of a community, to top that with a reading community can increase the chances of them being interested in books and develop a reading habit. Some children might not like to read, even they can be a part of a book club and watch their peers read and they might take interest as well. This would in fact motivate the children to start reading and form a liking towards the habit.
Set Example: Children typically mimic their parents’ behaviour, so it’s vital to set a positive example by reading in front of them and discussing the books you appreciate.
Here are some of the best books to start reading habit for children:
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B white
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
- Harry Potter by J.K Rowling
- Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
- Matilda by Roald Dahl
These are only a few of many, best books to start a reading habit among children.
At EuroSchool, there is much focus given to the reading ability of children and cultivating a good reading habit.