Strategies to promote independent reading among children
In an era of OTT platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime and social networking sites, people are gradually losing interest in books. We all know that children are highly impressionable, and learn the most from their elders during the formative years. Adults these days are spending more time on their mobile phones and laptops and children are simply following in their footsteps. After spending a whole day at school reading textbooks, children come back home, eager to play mobile phone games. This distances them from the habit of reading and without even realising that it can also be a pleasurable activity, they end up losing interest in books.
Ways to cultivate the love for reading in children at home
Set an example: As observed earlier, children learn most from their elders. Thus it is imperative to make the environment at home conducive to reading for kids to realise that books open a world of ideas. At home, the elders can set a good example by investing a good amount of time in reading so that children get inspired by their actions and slowly adopt the same habit.
Set up a library at home: Parents can place a small cupboard in the house dedicated to books. Seeing books around them can make children curious and they might gradually pick up the habit of reading. Allocating a special area on that shelf for the children to keep their books can also help a lot. This will give them a sense of ownership and motivate them to expand their collection.
Share reading experience: Be it facilitators, friends, relatives or parents, sharing reading experiences with children always helps. If the positive experiences are narrated properly, young minds can get stimulated by it, which may further have a meaningful impact on their reading habit.
Encourage casual reading: Reading need not always be about academics. We need to make our children realise that reading does not entail serious stuff alone and we can read for pleasure and happiness too.
Instil bedtime reading habit: Many parents inculcate a bedtime reading habit in their children. Children with such a habit read books regularly before going to sleep. This is also a positive practice which can promote a long-term reading habit among children.