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Book rues

3)      Kids have many reasons why they don’t want to read: ‘It’s boring’, ‘I don’t have time’, ‘it’s too hard’, ‘I like watching TV more’, can be a few of them. And they are not excuses. If this is what you are encountering then pick books that deal with the things your kids love. If your child likes airplanes then picking books on that subject should be a start. Pick books that have visuals because children do like to see pictures before they read. If your child is a reluctant reader pick books that have fewer words on each page. It’s ok if your child is not reading. At least he/she is flipping through to see pictures. Don’t set unrealistic goals. Take baby steps and DON’T force. Anything that is compelled is a pain.

4)      Introduce the bookmark: Reading can be intimidating, especially if your child is a reluctant-reader. Tell your kid that he/she does not need to finish the book. Bookmarks are meant to be used to take a break in reading and must be used.

5)      Getting an older child to read always makes reading glamorous: For the older child it is a way to show-off their skill and for the younger one it is one more reason to want to do the same.

6)      Don’t be a book snob: I am. Every time my daughter—who is a voracious reader—picks an Archie Digest or a Geronimo Stilton, it makes my heart sink. It takes every thing I know to stop myself from walking up to her and making her read what I want her to read (an Indian book by an Indian author). So allow your child to read anything. Reading opens many doors—vocabulary, creativity, the list is endless. But if reading is going to be constantly regimented, then it’s going to a chore and nobody likes chores, right?

7)      Introduce word games: I play ‘read the sign boards’ when we travel together and a game called ‘s and b’ where each player is encouraged to say a word that reminds him/her of the word said before—anything except words that start with s or b. You can think of more games. Words are magic. They are the keys that open many things. Reading is as much about language as it is about words and the way they are strung together to make a picture.


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9 thoughts on “Book rues

  1. Sudha Kumar

    Great post Vinitha and can’t agree with you more on leading by example. At home, both my husband and I read voraciously, though our tastes our quite different. My son has taken the best of both worlds approach and his choice is pretty eclectic. While our daughter does not read as widely, she still reads a fair bit. Especially in today’s world where there are so many reasons not to read, the home environment can make a big difference.

  2. Kritika

    Telling stories is another great way to encourage children to read. If you tell enough stories and excite them to the possibility of whole new worlds waiting between the covers of a book, once they do learn how to read, children will keep reaching out for more!

    1. Vinitha

      Yes reading to your children is a great way to encourage them to read. And yes story telling is another powerful tool. I’ve grown up never seeing my parents read… perhaps they were too busy then. But my mom is the world’s greatest story teller and I think her magical stories both borrowed and original has set all of us reading.

  3. Rajan Menon

    A very relevant post Vinitha, in this maverick times of television. And really isn’t reading the most rudimentary skill to get our children to explore their own minds and create vivid imagination. . Point well expressed in the thought that children tend to follow our ‘video’ more than our ‘audio’ !!

  4. Meera Srinivasan

    Very nicely captured and agree completely! I have had friends ask me how come your daughter likes reading -it never occurred to me the environment at home has played a such a huge role! Our daughter has grown up seeing us read, visiting book shops and these days ordering books online!

    Some common assumptions that are made are that children’s ability to read comes innately, girls read more than boys etc! But I strongly believe all kids can read!

    Along with the excellent tips you have given it will also help to read a book together with you kid so you can discuss it. In some cases, this will help them go to the next level; for example when my daughter was in grade 5 she was skeptical about trying harry potter, she was a bit intimidated by the size of the book – we read the first book along with her and in 4 months she had read the series!

    1. Vinitha

      Thanks Meera. I agree with you. Reading along with kids really helps initiate them into the next level of reading. You’re a parent who reads and so its wonderful to see how you’ve tackled this concern. Many parents I encounter do not read themselves and also perceive reading intimidating themselves. Thanks for sharing this.


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