How to Read With My Children When I Have No Free Time?
If you are going to prepare your child to be a successful reader, you have to develop the reading aloud habit with them. This is important, and you have to be patient and consistent at it. This way you will see them grow up into intelligent and passionate readers. It is common knowledge that children’s activities at home help to supplement what they learn in the classroom as they grow up. However, it goes beyond this. There are some things, especially habits that they will never be able to learn in the classroom but will easily pick up from home with their parents’ help.
As per reading, many people don’t realize that there’s a complex process involved in teaching your child to read. Many people see reading as a natural process or something that can happen on its own. However, this is far from the truth. In fact, reading is not natural. And it requires some degree of skill and strategy to teach reading. Thankfully, even though learning to read is a complex process, it is relatively straightforward for the teacher.
As a parent, you should be the first teacher of your kids. Apart from other essential life skills like cooking and cleaning, which they should learn from you, they should also learn to read from you first. It’s a vital life skill too, at least, at this age. If you’re looking to teach your kids how to read, here are some simple strategies I have compiled for you.
- Start at a tender age.
You should start reading to your baby, from the first moments of their life. Babies begin to hear sounds from 18 weeks old. So, talking/reading to them this early helps the baby to recognize your voice and develop good listening skills before they’re born. A few months old, they start to look at pictures. Show them black and white images to start with, as this is good for the development of their eyes. As they begin to point to images on cardboards and books, point to the object and mention the name. Show them real-life objects, too, and teach them the name.
Reading books aloud to your children helps stimulate their imagination, develop listening skills, learn the language, and prepare them to learn written words. This will be the foundation on which they build their reading skills.
Reading aloud together is a practice you shouldn’t stop as long as they’re children, even after they’ve learned to read by themselves. Also, reading stories that interest them, even if it’s higher than their reading level, will stretch their minds and help them improve their skills. While it might be easier to create time for kids when they are infants, it becomes more challenging as they grow. However, you still have to read with them. So, what do you do?
2. Make it a part of their daily activities.
One of the reasons why it’s essential to start early teaching the kids to read is because it becomes easier for them to adopt it as an everyday practice. While it’s quite hectic to be a parent, coupled with other daily activities, you should have a scheduled time when you read out loud with your kids. So, choose a time that’s convenient for you and the kids. The key to creating time for this is to see it as something crucial, like providing food for them. No matter how busy you are, you still provide food for the kids somehow (and it’s mostly scheduled). Take reading time as crucial.
However, if you do miss a day or aren’t on time, you shouldn’t be discouraged. The point is to make sure you read with them as often as you can. It will help if you also teach them to read, even on days you can’t make it to read with them. Then you can discuss what they read with them later. If it’s a story, make them tell you the story later and/or read it with them again. This way, you’ll be building the potentials inside them.
If you have two or more children, you should take time out to read with each one individually. You might not be able to read with each one every day; hence, a timetable might be appropriate for each one. Then you should probably have a family reading day when you read to them generally. This makes reading fun for them. Again, you don’t have all the time in the world to spend reading with them, but 10 minutes a day shouldn’t hurt, especially if you take it as seriously as feeding them three times daily. Teach them to read for longer, but make out time to join them in their reading before going back to your work.
Ask them questions about what they have read.
One of the things that reading does for children is helping them sharpen their comprehension skills. When I had to write my essay in elementary school I found it a much easier task than my friend who used to hate books. A child who’s a good reader will find it easier to comprehend things that they’re taught.
You can as well put this to test when you join them in their reading. Since you don’t have all the time in the day, you can join them briefly and ask questions about what they’re reading. Their ability to retell the story or explain it will show their level of comprehension. It will also help them develop reading habits to understand if they know that daddy or mummy will ask them questions from what they have read. The point of reading with the children is to teach and encourage them to read. If you don’t have time to read out with them, you’ll still accomplish the same purpose by joining them for a brief moment and merely asking questions about the book or subject they’re reading.
Teaching kids to read is a fundamental role of the parent. It helps build a bond with the kids even as they’re learning an essential life skill, expanding their understanding of the world, and enhancing their brain capabilities.
Author Bio: Leon Collier is a blogger from the UK, a member of the professional essay writers community. He loves writing college essay papers about everything: parenting, history, travel, self-development, education, soft skills. When not writing, you can find him behind a book or playing tabletop games with his friends. Follow him on Twitter @LeonCollier12