Why you should inspire your young ones to read-

In today’s digital world, it is difficult to integrate the habit of reading among young children. Television, the internet, and smartphone have not only become part of our lives but the younger generation have gradually become dependent on it. With stunning visual cartoons and interactive games easily accessible to children, it is not quite easy to direct them towards reading.

But reading is more than just an activity, it is a basic skill that lays the foundation required for every individual to build themselves further. It is a complex cognitive process of coding and decoding symbols to construct and derive meaning. Reading facilitates language acquisition, communication, and helps gain knowledge, share ideas, and opinions for our daily life.

Therefore, cultivating the habit of reading among young children is essential for their growth. The key to encouraging young children to read is motivation, as well as developing their skill and will to read. Ms. Nahed Salem, Trainer & International Lecturer, talks about how to encourage kids to read in this digital age in her master’s thesis. She discusses that during the period of elementary school, it is critical to support children in both affective and cognitive aspects of literacy development. She refers to the term ‘engaged reader’. “The engaged reader is motivated, knowledgeable, strategic and socially interactive.” (Salem, 6) Hence, as a parent, you should inspire your kids to be engaged readers.

So, how can one create an environment where they can encourage their young ones to read? Introduce bedtime stories to your young one’s routine since “hearing stories has a direct impact on vocabulary development; and children who are read to at least 3 times a week start to read and comprehend better.” (Salem, 10) It is always good to begin with light reading like magazines, comics that interest them since they will encourage them to read and in time, will lead to more serious reading.

According to Salem, a literacy learning model by Camborne proposes that “motivation and reading development are fostered when children are immersed in a book rich environment.” Having a little library corner dedicated to reading contributes to how much reading is done. Not only for kids but also for the entire family. This will also make it easier for kids to get into the habit of reading by watching their elders. You can set an example by engaging yourself in reading too, as you are, and will always be your children’s first role model and they will always look up to you.
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