Reading is one of the most important lifelong activities. Young children are connected with reading and books long before they actually know how to read. It starts when a child has the first book in his hand or when parents read to him from a book. It is a wonderful way for young children to spend time together with their parents. The interaction that is going on between a child and parent when they are reading together has some important components. One of them is predictability—as these activities usually occur on a regular schedule and follow a regular pattern of steps. Playfulness is evident as these activities are done for fun. Language is used to construct meaning and share ideas. The child gets opportunities to lead the activity, the parent is modeling language and reading behavior and together they develop their own jargon for many ideas. In this way parents intuitively use the "lab method" to teach their children about language, print, and books (Daniels, 1994, p. 37). A child understands that a book is connected with something pleasant for him and his important adults, something that makes them feel good. He understands the meaning of the word for an object long before he can say this word. Later he starts to understand that there are pictures and words in books and that they have some meaning. This is first step in developing reading abilities and love towards books.
The joy of reading and love of books is crucial for each child's development it is measured not only in school success but also in meaningful social interactions.
This has been a decade of technological advances. From iPods to electronic readers children are bombarded with electrical images and stimulations. But the surprising truth is that even with all the advances in electronics and gadgetry, reading to children and having them read is still one of the most important skills to give a child. Reading to a child can promote a child’s cerebral and emotional development. While any positive interaction between parent and child is helpful, reading is always a sure fire way to gain a positive foothold into a child’s life. Books open doors to new ideas, cultures and concepts. By reading to young children a parent helps instill a love of books in children and helps them want to read more. The internet is a great learning resource for children as well as adults but a good reading ability should come first and foremost. Without a strong reading capability a child is unable to use the internet to its full potential. The Parent’s Role in Fostering a Love of Reading
A parent is a partner in the life of his or her child. Parents can instill a love of books and delight in wordplay, develop pre-reading skills and help children become accomplished independent readers. Listed below are several ways to incorporate a joy of reading in a child. • Read to the child every day. Start as early as possible. Books on tape can also be utilized. • Sing nursery rhymes and children’s songs.
• As early as possible help the children obtain a library card. • Treat books as though they are special.
• Give books at Christmas, birthdays and as rewards.
• Let the child make picture books by cutting out pictures from magazines or pictures they colored and glue them into homemade books. • Make sure the child sees the parent reading. It doesn’t have to be a book; reading newspapers, magazines, or even the back of a cereal box can provide an example. • When reading aloud, read with expression and excitement. • Give the child opportunities to write even if it is unreadable. • Let the child tell a story that the parent writes down. When it is completed let the child illustrate the story. • Let the child pick the story for story time.
• Let the child help parents cook following a recipe card or cookbook.
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