“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.”
Want to get your child interested in reading from a young age? Here’s how:
1. Make reading a part of everyday life
Make it a point to incorporate reading into your child’s routine! Play audiobooks in car rides, keep children’s books in the living room and read with your child before naptime or bedtime.
When you’re out and about, make it a point to visit bookstores with your child. Get them involved! If your child is interested in trucks, let them choose a book about vehicles. If your child is interested in underwater creatures, choose a book about ocean life!
If your child is learning a second language at school, you can help them reinforce the new language at home through regular reading – have them read aloud what they’ve learnt at school.
It’s easier for your child to pick up reading when it’s just a part of daily life. Consistency is key, and it’s why we have weekly reading lessons at Q-dees.
We’re proud that every young reader at Q-dees reads a book a month with our Link & Think Reading Series, and we encourage parents to explore the joy of reading at home too. Parental involvement makes an enormous difference in your child’s progress, so we highly recommend that you read together with your child as often as you can.
2. Create quality time by reading together
If you’re a working parent, reading together can be a blessing for both you and your child. It’s a moment where you can be present with your child without any distractions of the day. Be mindful and put away your phone to give your child your full attention.
You’ll find that reading together is an immensely rewarding bonding experience. There’s nothing quite as comforting as settling in for a bedtime read and having a favourite book to thumb through, or hearing your child laugh at your silly voices.
Make time for these moments, and you’ll treasure these memories for life.
3. Dramatise your reading with actions
Sometimes you’ll find your child refuses to sit still, or that they’re always fidgeting and moving about as you read. They may just be a kinaesthetic learner, preferring to learn through movement.
The best way to read with a kinaesthetic learner is by dramatising the story! “How does the dinosaur move? Stomp, stomp, stomp!” Make stomping motions with your feet as you read, pretending to be a gigantic dinosaur with your child.
Why not provide playing blocks or toy figures for them to act out the characters as you read? You can also prepare paper and pencils so they can draw and bring the story to life.
In our Link & Think Reading Series, we provide you with suggestions on what you can do to dramatise the story. Just look for the ‘Connect with Your Child’ section for our handy tips. For example, when you read about a helicopter ride, you can make helicopter motions with your child, spinning your arms and tilting in your seat as though you are flying in the air.
Reading with a child is all about fun, imaginative roleplaying! We also incorporate songs and dances in our reading lessons:
4. Read as a two-way dialogue
Encourage your child to read along with you! Instead of doing all the reading, get your child to take an active role from time to time. Prompt them to repeat words back to you, and encourage them to say the next line aloud or read as another character.
Get them to share their thoughts and feelings as you read – these are key parenting moments where you can impart life lessons and moral values. Ask them how the story made them feel, or why the character chose to do what they did. “Why did Bubbly cry when his friend teased him? How would you feel if your friend did that?”
A story about losing a pet may be their first experience learning about grief and loss, and a story about sibling rivalry can teach them how to get along with their siblings. Research even shows that children who read regularly are better at displaying empathy and understanding others’ thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
In our Link & Think Reading Series, every story has purposeful character-building elements to encourage social-emotional development, such as learning to love and care for your friends and family, to control our temper, to lend a helping hand, and more.
5. Learn new things together
You don’t have to be an all-knowing parent! Sometimes children ask questions that can really stump us – what size is the moon? (Roughly 1/4th the size of the Earth.)
Reading is all about discovering new things together. In our ‘Connect with Your Child’ notes, we offer interesting facts and trivia that you and your child can look up together on the Internet.
Keep an eye out for our ‘Get It with Gedi’ sections too – they serve as a quick reference, delivering explanations of the figurative language in our Link & Think Reading Series. For example, where did the saying ‘Every cloud has a silver lining’ come from, and what does it mean?
We include these explanations in our books so you and your child can learn together. The phrase means you can find hope no matter how dark the situation seems! It refers to the silver outline behind a cloud as the sun shines through. These are all figurative phrases that your child will learn by reading in context.
From engaging books to singalong sessions and interactive software, our Link & Think Reading Series encourages your child to develop a passion for reading and an active culture of reading one book a month. We even have our Q-dees Reading Month this August!
Our research-backed reading programme is also aligned to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), a set of international guidelines for students’ language proficiency and their learning outcomes.
Visit us at www.q-dees.com to find out more about our comprehensive programmes or call us at 1700-81-5077 to find a friendly centre near you!
Reading and storytelling with babies and children. (2018). Retrieved from https://raisingchildren.net.au/babies/play-learning/literacy-reading-stories/reading-storytelling
Why is storytelling important to children? (2019). Retrieved from https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/why-is-storytelling-important-to-children/zvqcnrd
10 Ways to Keep Hands and Minds Busy During Read-Aloud (2017). Retrieved from https://rollingprairiereaders.com/read-aloud-quiet-activities/