Make your child love reading !

Published : 09-08-2018 14:42:00
Categories : Children's story

Make your child love reading !

Learning to read allows one to discover a world that is both fun and creative – the world of detective novels, of fantastic stories, or even of the great French writers. And yet, each time you show your child a book, it's the same old story! It's either too long, or there aren't enough pictures, and you wind up hearing the dreaded phrase: "I don't like reading!" So what to do when your child doesn't enjoy reading? Why do some children always have their nose in a book starting from a young age, whereas others flee them like the plague? First off, it is important not to overreact, and to understand the reasons that can lead your child to not taking an interest in a world that is still new to them... 

Why won't they open a book? 

Upon entering first grade, your child, who up until then had only seen books as things full of little obscure symbols, will slowly start to learn to read. And even though they are only just getting started, they already know that "Reading is important!" Whether it is those around them or their teacher, the whole world suddenly seems focused on one thing: reading. Why? Quite simply because in France, as in many other countries, reading is usually associated with success in school. Books allow you to learn, and to improve your vocabulary and your understanding of the world. What is more, you are asked to read a lot of books in school, and being able to enjoy doing so seems to give your child a little advantage in terms of all of the difficulties that they are going to encounter. With all of this pressure around books, it would be hard for your child to not feel it! Up until now, reading had been a relaxing and enjoyable experience for them, but now they are learning that they must decipher, decode, and make links between sounds and between letters.

Faced with all this work, let's be honest, who wouldn't be a bit afraid?  While some children don't have much trouble overcoming this barrier, others wind up slowly associating reading with something like forced labor. Yet it is important to understand that reading is not the only way of gaining more exposure to the world! Music and drawing, for example, are equally interesting activities that can help them to better apprehend what is going on around then. Reading is important, true, but you shouldn't worry if your child doesn't seem interested at all. Plus, just because they don't like reading at the age of 6 doesn't mean they won't uncover a passion for doing so later on in their studies or during their adult life! Finally, it is possible that, upon closer inspection, your child is, in fact, reading. They may not have much of an appreciation for Maupassant, but they probably open up comic books, non-fiction, or manga. There is no such thing as good or bad reading!

Most importantly, don't force them to read!

It is important to understand that you cannot force a child to like reading. Daniel Pennac, in Reads like A Novel, wrote on this topic: 

"The verb to read can't stand the imperative. It shares this aversion with several other verbs: the verb to love, the verb to dream... Of course, one can always try. Go ahead: 'Love me!', 'Dream!', 'Read! Go on, read, for goodness sake, I order you to read!' – The result? Zilch."

Helping your child to read isn't a matter of obligation, it is more about initiation. You have to show them that reading isn't just about work but that it can also turn out to be a lot of fun! What you have on your side? The world of books is nearly infinite. Most bookworms became passionate about reading after a book that you might say "just clicks." Help your child to discover a world that resembles them and that seems liable to interest them. You can, for example, start with a non-fiction book that features lots of pictures, and that might be easier to understand due to being written in the present. Certainly don't force them in any way. Give them the opportunity to discover a story with you, and if you notice that they seem especially drawn to a given type of book, give them permission to read those books. It doesn't matter what the books in question are about! They have to develop their own taste for reading.  

Introducing your child to reading: tips and tricks! 

UNDER 6 YEARS:

  • Give them cardboard or paper books! In gnawing on them, they will discover that books are precious and different from other toys. 
  • Read them stories before they fall asleep. In addition to working their imagination, this will make it easier for them to dive into stories later on. 
  • Let them choose the book they want and if they are pretending to read and holding it upside down, avoid pointing their mistake out to them! Instead, encourage them!

OVER 6 YEARS:

  • The book must be entertaining and enjoyable. Give your child as much freedom as possible! They must choose their own books and feel like the reading concerns them. 
  • Sign them up to a library so they can discover other worlds. 
  • Set the example! Take some time on the weekends to make a little book reading club at home. Read for 30 minutes each on your own and then talk about your books as a family. 
  • Continue to read stories to your children at night: just because they know how to read doesn't mean you should avoid that bonding time before bed. 
  • Finally, don't force them to always finish the books they start. If they decide to skip a passage or to stop because they aren't enjoying the story anymore, suggest that they move on to another story or take a little break. 
  • There are also books in audio format! This might seem more entertaining and will allow your child to learn to become immersed in another world. You can let them use REMI so that they can choose their own audio books themselves! Finally, don't forget that reading is reading. Don't judge what your child likes to read! It's a personal matter. We all have a tendency to make our stories into our own secret garden, a place where we hide thoughts and feelings. Reading also means staying intimate! 

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