Reading is the most efficient and economical way to help anyone
to acquire information, knowledge, skills and improve on one
self. And it is most wonderful to help your child to be a
great reader as young as possible.
The best way to help a child or any one to learn a skill and be
good at it is to create a Supportive and Conducive Environment
to make it easy for her to learn. Here are some suggestions
that you may find helpful:
1. Have lots of good books in the home at all times. You can
either buy them or borrow them from the library. The National
Library has tons of excellent books suitable for children of
all ages - story books and information books (you can find
books on all kinds of topic, e.g. books on animals, seasons,
famous artists and people, human body, interesting places,
occupations). For our family, we make it a routine to visit the
library every week if not every fortnight. It is a great family outing
for all of us.
2. At your home, have the reading materials and books easily
accessible to your child so that she can get hold of them at
her convenience. The best way is to have an open book shelf
that is of the right height for your child. Providing her a
proper place to keep her books and stuffs is also a good way to
teach your child about responsibility - teach her to care for
her things by getting her to put them back in the right place
3. Adults at home (especially parents) must set good examples
by reading books regularly. Children learn by observing what
their parents do. Be a good reader yourself. I'd recommend
non-fiction books - e.g. books on parenting, self-enrichment
and improvement etc. (By the way, newspapers are not considered
because there is simply too much negative news and sensational
but non-useful information in each publication - they are not
good to our brain and personal growth.)
4. Read to your child daily. Make it a routine, like before
bed time. The best persons to read to the child is her parents
and that is you. Reading together with your child is also one
of the best ways for bonding with your child.
5. Carry books with you when you bring your child out so that
you can read to her when an opportunity arises, e.g. while
waiting for someone, at the petrol station, on the MRT/ subway.
6. Give lots of encouragement and praise when the child make
the effort to read by herself. Encouragement helps to boost
your child's self-esteem and help her want to do even better.
7. Make learning fun and enjoyable. Discuss with your child
about the things she has read and has fun with her by acting
out some of the scenes in the books. This will help to fill
your home with lots of laughter and love.
Article by Alvin Poh, founder of The Parenting Network For The Achievement of Human Potential. To learn how you help your children to develop and excel in their natural potential, go to: http://www.alvinkh.per.sg/parentingnetwork