Reading is a fundamental skill which each child should master. It sets the foundation for one’s knowledge base and its further applications in real life. It promotes literacy amongst the young and improves communication as they learn new words and new means to express themselves.

Reading can help children comprehend and analyse complex situations. It is the key to cognitive development and investment in the process of learning.

Reading as Nurturing Habit

Reading can become a habit as a result of repetition. There a few best kids play school in Ahmedabad catering to instil and nurture such habits from an early age. Measurable terms of reading habits are often considered in the following terms:

  • Number of materials being read
  • The frequency of reading
  • Average time spent on reading

The aim is an increment in all of these three spheres. Good reading involves a critical confrontation with the material and the ideas of the author. One of the ways is to bring in new material into a relationship with already existing conceptions. This transcends critical reading to a creative one and developing synthesis that yields new results – systematic development of language and the personality. {Breaking a big sentence to small fragments}

Emphasising Non-Academic Reading

It is a general observation that there is an overemphasis on academic reading rather than recreational or voluntary reading. Both kinds of reading should be given equal importance. Reading helps to accord meaning to recorded information. Interpretation of the text within a given context is important. So altogether, reading is a process of thinking, evaluating, judging, imagining, reasoning and problem-solving.

Widening the Reading Range

Reading is a portal to different worlds which a child can immerse oneself into and learn from. The breadth ranges from fact to imagination. The reading material may be informative or creative, ranging from encyclopaedias to literary classics such as Matilda by Roald Dahl. Comic books help instil a sense of humour while making reading easy and fun with pictorial representations as in The Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Parent-Children Reading

Children learn via observation. So, by enjoying the process of reading, the parents set an example and create a conducive environment for children to read. Alternative reading by the parent and the child keep the latter engaged in the process of reading. If there is a certain place that the child will like to visit, the parent can read a book set in that location to pique interest in the child. Children can be taken to the zoo or aquarium or for bird watching and then be given books about the animal kingdom to be read. The underlying point is the relational quality of books by means of which a child can garner an association between the books they read and the world they see. It immerses them into an experience by themselves.

Exposure to Reading Materials

Children should be accompanied to book fairs to expose them to books from a plethora of genres. Making them watch popular adapted movies followed by reading books on which the movies are based is always a great idea to blend both the worlds. These may include Disney movies such as Aladdin, Snow White and the seven dwarfs and Alice in Wonderland, each of which has a written text telling the tale. Other such movies can be the Harry Potter series to capture a child’s imagination and leaving them ravenous to learn more life through a fantasy world of J.K. Rowling.

Library Affiliations

Affiliate the child with libraries within and outside the school. There are certain libraries which allow toys to be issued along with books. By permitting a child to issue a toy by mandating the issue of a book along with it would also catalyse reading.

Integrating Classroom Activities with reading

Certain such initiatives are taken exclusively at preschools in Ahmedabad to help children become avid readers. Each child can be asked to share and narrate their favourite book in the class. Reading evaluations can be taken by the teachers to assess the academic ability of a child to read. Teachers can ask questions and unleash discussions on different topics in class for generating inquisitiveness in children. The children eventually end up reading from various sources to quench their thirst of knowing more.

Final Thoughts

More than education and learning, books also develop a certain ideology in children that help them create a distinctive personality of their own. The children can be asked as to what do they aspire to be when they grow up and be given a book such as Richard Scarry’s ‘What do people do all day?’ to explore the various roles that a person can play professionally. Also books such as ‘Goodnight stories for Rebel Girls’ can teach young girls to take a feminist stride by catching their dreams of becoming who they want to be.

School newsletters should be circulated to keep the children in touch with the activities going on in school while evoking a need to read to stay abreast. Enacting plays in school will lead children to read those plays in the first place. Likewise, poetry recitation competitions will cause children to sift through and scout for poems.