The pleasures of reading are immense and enriching. As a child, reading to me was a hateful activity. I always felt it was a waste of time and thought the idea of sitting with a book in hand was extremely boring. But the day I started reading with a bit of protest to myself but with a bit of curiosity as well, I developed this hobby and today it has become a necessity.
This write up is a beginner’s guide to inculcate the reading habit in kids who are a bundle of energy tied to their hectic schedule of school and activity classes. My son is one of them. He is six years old but my efforts to inculcate this habit of reading are still in the nascent stage. Hence, while I earnestly try to make him sit and read with me and encourage him to develop his language and comprehension skills, I am glad that he occasionally reciprocates my efforts (at least).
There are books for each age and the maturity of the reading matter, the choice of the authors and topics evolve at every age. It can all begin with little comic book series which are very basic and easy to follow like Tinkle and Amar Chitra Katha. These books are very interesting and have a varied spread of topics. It can be interesting for your children because they have short stories which feature folk tales, comic characters and these are written specially for the young age group by authors spread across the country. I have a huge collection of them in bound form. These two series and the frequent addition of similar type of books help the child to develop the reading habit gradually. These books impart basic knowledge of history, geography, general knowledge, leading to reading and writing of good English.
Famous authors like Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew and Jane Eyre have presented the English literature in beautifully woven stories. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, Great Expectations, Adventures of Robin Hood, Jane Eyre and many more can be introduced to our kids as these all stories are presented with a different set up. The added advantage of reading can be seen in the essay competitions and language projects that our kids may have in their schools. Today a mini library forms a corner of my house which suitably houses all these books for my children to read. Here are some quick points which can be implemented for creating a library for our little learners:
1. Though we can gift our child books bought online or by visiting book stores, an easy and economical option would be to visit the old paper marts and street selling book stalls where one can find old classic books in good condition and at cheaper rates. Take a walk in your locality and you will find a good collection of books in these outlets.
2. It would be best for our kids to accompany us to these outlets and decide their choice of books to be picked. By allowing them to do so, we would be also getting to know the topics that interest our child. Like my son loves books with stories of monsters and aliens. It arouses his curiosity to a great extent and so we are pushed to reply to his innumerable questions posed while reading.
3. Binding books help you to keep the books in good condition and preserve them.
4. Categorize these books as per their subject i.e. history, world leaders, about India etc. It is easier for beginners to read.
5. Encyclopaedia and quiz books can make a presence in the collection. Again, mini encyclopaedias which are easy to hold and not bulky for little hands make a reading treat for children.
The written word makes a lasting impact can be considered an old school thought. Today our kids feel reading books is a very outdated method of getting their knowledge. Reading has evolved with gadgets like smartphones, tabs and Kindles. But reading a book the traditional way is any day a healthier option (we all are aware about the health hazards of electronic gadgets) for our children.
Lastly, the reading habit may not be something which may be liked by kids who are surrounded by gadgets. It is healthy for us parents to shift them from video games, cartoons( which are no longer innocent ) to reading. We may have to spend some specific time during the day for reading out the stories to them. It should be a leisure activity, maybe you can set aside a time before bed time for reading.
At the end of it, reading may not be liked by all kids but it can be left to our children to decide as they grow. No hobby can be forced by the parents. We have to make incessant efforts to introduce our children to this whole new world. To me reading was a hobby that I picked by accident and it gave me an advantage at every stage in some way or other.
After 12 years of banking experience, I chose to take a sabbatical for my kids and be an enterprising mother. I am a Bachelor in Commerce, Masters in Finance Management and done diploma in creative writing .Writing is my passion and wish to develop it further. My husband is my inspiration to all my aspirations. I am a mother of two sons, my elder being 6 yrs old and younger about 1 month old . I love travelling and writing about places visited and every thought that fascinates me. All this can be read in my blog Life Bytes.