How to Teach your Children the Habit of Reading
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When I was in Middle School, I realized that I didn’t like reading. Even though many of the girls around me during my teenage years enjoyed reading Abeer Novels and enjoyed talking about the characters and the storylines.
One day, my school organized a field trip to the Book Fair. I knew that although I didn’t like reading, I wanted to return from the field trip with at least one book. I ended up buying a short story and tried reading it multiple times. However, I was never able to finish it.
While I was studying Art at university, I would often visit the campus’ bookstore, which sold many English art-related books. These books gave me inspiration for future projects.
After my university experience, I got into the habit of reading about what interests me within my major, whenever I get the chance to.
I used to love how my father-in-law enjoyed sitting in a quiet room, entertained by reading a book or a newspaper.
When my first child was born, I knew I wanted to raise her, and any other child I have to love reading.So when my first child turned 4 months and was able to sit down , I bought her small, baby-friendly books of every kind whenever I could.
My eldest daughter got accustomed to sitting on my lap, and listening to me read while I mimic sounds and teach her letters of the alphabet, and simple words.
A few years later, we started visiting The Kingdom of Bahrain often, where my husband enjoyed visiting the National Bookshop, and I of course made the best out of these visits and bought more books for my children.
Shortly after my second child was born, we moved to The United States, and of course I took advantage of every opportunity to buy more books for my children especially because of the wider variety offered in the US. During our time in The United States, I committed to reading to them every night, even when I got pregnant with my third child.
During my third pregnancy, the baby would move around more and kick while I was reading to my children at night. “The baby is listening to the story with you.” I would say to my two children.
While we were packing to move back to Saudi Arabia, I realized that during the two and a half years we’ve lived there, I’ve bought 4 boxes worth of children’s books.
To be completely honest, only my eldest daughter stuck to the habit of reading. But her two siblings read occasionally, if they find something that grabs their attention.
In the end, I would like to leave you with the following tips:
1- Start early with your children, even before they are born.
2- Make it a habit to read to them every night, and if they’re old enough you can make them read while you follow with them.
3- Take fun trips to bookstores and have them pick their own books.
4- Have bookshelves in the house that your children can see everyday
5- Encourage them to do their own research when they ask you a question (when they are old enough)
6- When you’re reading for your own amusement, do it in front of your children (children tend to follow their parents’ habits).
7- Encourage your child to read EVERYTHING (magazines, books, street names, food labels).
8- Reward them for finishing a book.
9- Don’t push them too hard.
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