At the surface level, it might seem like a very simple thing to do. One that is unambiguous, even. But the reality- never matches!
We are talking about what it takes to raise a reader in today's times. There are numerous things we try, as parents,- most of them fail- and some succeed. And the best part of parenting is doing a good deed and passing on your learnings to fellow members of the fraternity- 'coz sharing is caring!
As a mom of 2, I noticed, my kids, the elder one especially, took to reading like a fish to water. She would finish books at breakneck speed ad hop onto the next. But I observed a pattern- she would stick to an author, or a series for a little while before trying new things. She wasn't too comfortable with non-fiction, I observed. I silently replaced some books in her bookshelf with non-fiction and encyclopedias et al, which brought in a little variety. And it worked! It's these small things that we need to observe as parents and try out with the kids.
We spoke to Chiki Sarkar- Publisher and Founder, Juggernaut Books on #RaisingParents– a parenting podcast on Jio Saavn by Mansi Zaveri. She talks about the importance of raising young readers, what it takes to get children to fall in love with the art of reading and how reading as a family is a non-negotiable in their household!
As a part of KSP Reading Challenge and when curating the special reading programmes and book lists for kids on KSP Summer Fun Factory, we can't stress on this topic enough. You have to work on it as a family, if you want to raise a young reader. Even if you are not one. Trust me!
Here are some handy tips she has shared that we could resonate with. And if you are raising mini-readers at home, these come in super handy.
1. Keep books in all key child areas- including bed, car, and even potty, Chiki says! A perfect way to engage with the kids during the difficult potty training days!
2. Don't just read the words– especially for little ones, below 2 years. Go ahead, make those gestures, sounds and animations. That will grab their attention and keep them hooked to the book.
3. When starting- at least for the littlest of readers, don't plan a very elaborate reading time. Even if it is just 5-10 minutes in one go, that's good. If they have your attention for those 10 minutes, you have done your job.
4. Make it a bed-time routine. As packed as the day might be, carve out some fun bonding time with the kids, at bedtime, reading out their favourite books.
5. Just like we suggested in our exclusive reading webinar on KSP Summer Fun Factory on the mistakes parents make when raising readers, don't drop off reading just when your kids get a little older. Even if they are old enough to read on their own. Read with and to them till they are teens, atleast, says Chiki and we can't agree more!
You can tune in to the full interview with Chiki Sarkar here.
To join our 7-Day FREE KSP Reading Challenge, sign up here.
Image source: Verve