Getting Children To Love Reading

Getting Children to Love Reading

 All teachers want children to appreciate the beauty of written words and experience the excitement of traveling to far-off places and meeting new and different people through books. But like most skills, reading is a gift passed on in the home and in the classroom by adults who value reading. If kids see grown-ups reading, they will grow to cherish reading and books. Unfortunately, not every child comes to reading naturally; there are roadblocks-great and small-which hinder some kids from enjoying printed pages and illustrations.

Helping children enjoy reading is one of the most important things you can do as a teacher and it's well worth the investment of your time and energy.

Kids will learn reading skills in school, but often they come to associate reading with work, not pleasure. As a result, they lose their desire to read. And it is that desire-the curiosity and interest-that is the cornerstone to using reading and related skills successfully.
By far the most effective way to encourage children to love books and reading is to read aloud to them, and the earlier you start, the better. Even a baby of a few months can see pictures, listen to your voice, and turn cardboard pages.

And don't stop taking the time to read aloud once the children have learned to read for themselves. At this stage, encourage them to read to you some of the time. This shared enjoyment will continue to strengthen the children's interest and appreciation.

Make this time together a special time when you hold your students and share the pleasure of a story without the distractions of TV or telephones which often happens when the children are made to study at home. You may be surprised to find that a well-written children's book is often as big a delight to you as it is to the kids.

If children are school-aged, keep in mind that the school library is an excellent source for a wide variety of materials and the school librarian is knowledgeable about children's literature. Encourage kids to take home books from their school library for pleasure as well as for their studies

While the children are still very small, it's a good idea to suggest the parents to start a home library for them, even if it's just a shelf or two. Be sure to keep some books for little children to handle freely.

Include specially made, extra-durable books for infants, and pick paperbacks and plastic covers for kids who are older but still not quite ready for expensive hardbacks. Allowing little children to touch, smell, and even taste books will help them develop strong attachments.
How you handle books will eventually influence how your students treat them. Children imitate, so if they see that you enjoy reading and treat books gently and with respect, it is likely that they will do the same.

When you read aloud together, choose books that you both like. If a book seems dull, put it down and find one that is appealing. There are, however, so many children's books in print that making the best selections may seem a formidable task.

Simply having books, magazines, and newspapers around them will help children view them as part of daily life. And your example of reading frequently and enjoying it will reinforce that view.

In addition, the school library will have several journals that regularly review children's books, including the Horn Book and Booklist. These will give the teachers an idea of what's new and worth pursuing.

And there's nothing like just browsing through the many books available at your school library until you find ones that appeal to you and your students.


(Mrs. Nadia Kashif)

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