CREATE A RICH LITERARY ENVIRONMENT
Introduce reading at an early age, and ensure your child always has access to a wide range of quality books. Stock the bookshelves with age-appropriate material, and don’t be overly concerned about what other children are reading, advises Anita. Every child has a different level of comprehension, so choose books that are most suitable for Junior.
PRIME YOUR CHILD WITH PRE-READING ACTIVITIES
Anita suggests playing audiovisual games like “I Spy with My Little Eye” to help Junior improve his word recognition skills. Also, encourage him to memorise songs, as this can help him get accustomed to a language’s natural rhythm. Threading beads and assembling jigsaw puzzles are other good pre-reading activities, as they train a child to identify subtle differences between objects. Anita Wilks, senior consultant at Lorna
Whiston This helps him distinguish between similar letters and words while reading.
BE A GOOD ROLE MODEL
Let your child see you reading, as this might motivate him to emulate you, says Anita. Moreover, make it a habit to read with him regularly, even after he has learnt to read independently. Make trips to libraries and bookshops together to further pique his interest in books – it’ll make for a fun day out as well.
READ TO YOUR CHILD EFFECTIVELY
To sustain Junior’s interest, use an animated voice when reading to him. Interact with him – discuss storylines, teach him to empathise with the characters and get him to predict how the story will end, suggests Anita. Make learning fun – choose books with rhymes and repetitive refrains, and play them up. Reading should never be a chore!