The Unapologetic Bookworm
Reading became one of my favorite pastimes since I was young, and it still is! I have fond memories of curling up in the armchair on stormy days reading adventure stories and imagining the protagonists of the book dodging bullets outside my window in the rain! That’s why I tried to encourage my kids to read for enjoyment at a very young age and it would become one of the gifts I can give them for life – the joy of reading!
Building confidence is key
Every child has a different approach when it comes to reading and different preferences on how they like to read. Some children do not like to read because it is a challenge for them due to various reasons, so we first need to understand what the cause could be and then encourage them to overcome it, be it boredom, concentration challenge, or simply lack of interest. Once they have developed some good reading skills they will be more confident to venture out and read more.
Load up the Imagination Wagon
In my personal experience, I found it more difficult to entice my daughters to read a lot when they were really young, before the age of 6 or 7. Maybe it was because I have never been a very good storyteller and didn’t read a lot of stories to them. Or maybe I simply chose the wrong books that did not interest them! Only recently did I realized there are some really beautifully illustrated wordless picture books that are full of wonderful illustrations and colours that I am sure children would love. What a great way to get their imagination running and to make up stories of their own! Maybe story time could be having THEM to tell ME the stories before bed, not the other way round! Well, my “aha!” moment came 10 years too late!
Read in your own style
But once my kids have built up a slightly larger vocabulary and have gained more confidence in reading, that’s when the fun started. We would have our reading sessions on the weekends, curled up in our cozy reading nook, and each of us lost in the wonderful story we chose. I never cease to be amazed by the variety of books the kids read, they constantly switch from fictions to non-fictions, from classics to contemporary. Our little one likes to read several books at once, a few pages here and a few chapters there. At first I thought she was having trouble concentrating, but I realized later that she would actually finish reading ALL of them! This turns out to be her reading style.
Let’s be practical
In our family, we are such avid and fast readers that we can go through so many books in a short time, and we just don’t have the space at home to keep all the books. Also, it happens that we would like to read the same book at the same time, like when the newest title of a book series we are all following just came out. For this reason, I have resolved to using e-readers so we can share our “library” without piling up the house with books or wait our turns for a particularly sought-after story! Of course there are pros and cons on the use of e-readers, but I find them super practical.
Dive right in!
Get started with a wide variety of books on different topics and let the kids explore which ones are their favorites! There are some great lists of books for various ages and reading skills on the internet complete with reviews. Enjoy spending time with the kids discussing their favorite stories, what a wonderful way to bond with them through the joy of reading.