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Many a time you have heard parents and teachers lamenting on the lazy nature of the current crop of school children. The reading culture in this country has gone fully to the dogs- thanks to the advancement of technology that has brought with it the much-hyped social media! It is not surprising therefore that one is likely to come across so many high school graduates that have never perused through any other book save for the teacher guided set books. This is so disheartening to both the parents but more specifically to the teachers of English. You are very much aware that any second language acquisition is all dependent on the levels of one’s interaction with the language. Interaction in our case involves the speaking and even reading literature scripted in the language of interest. Children who are exposed to reading early enough have an easy time acquiring the much-known four skills of English: Writing, Speaking, Reading and Listening. It is important therefore that parents are made aware of this fact if they have to help their children acquire this important skill.

Avail reading materials (books)

I want to believe that every parent should prioritize providing reading materials to his children. It should be noted that it is not about just providing books but providing relevant and interesting texts to read. It is good to consider the interests of your children when purchasing these books to avoid buying what your kids may consider boring. You can involve them when sourcing these books from the bookshelves. Encourage them to pick books with what they consider as interesting titles of course with your guidance.

Create some reading area/room

This is a must if any reading has to take place at home. I am cognizant of the fact that some home spaces may not allow this but remember that even their bedrooms can be arranged to accommodate a reading space. This reading space must be conducive to stimulate reading and concentration. Ensure that the room is airy with appropriate furniture to facilitate reading.

Draw a time table

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It is advisable that parents and guardians together with their children draw a reading timetable so that the kids are all aware of what time they are supposed to read. This will make it easy for parents because all they will be doing is ensure that the reading sessions take place. This time tables should be strictly followed.

Consider the mental age of your children.

The mental age of children is different from the chronological age. The chronological age of a child is the actual age of the child while the mental age is the intellectual capacity of a child. This will come to play when selecting books for the children. Kids with high mental age may need slightly complex content not in tandem with their chronological age to avoid boring them from what may be considered as very simple content.

Provide a serene environment

Always ensure that the environment at home is conducive enough to stimulate reading. All gadgets that may offer distractions should be put away from the reading area. These are gadgets like phones, radios, and even TVs. Human traffic too must be minimized.

Be a role model.

There is no way kids are going to fancy reading if you as a parent never ‘touches’  a book. Read. Let them know that you are asking them to do what they normally see you practice! Remember that children imitate best what they see from adults around them. If they see you with the phone all the time, then that is what exactly they will want to do!





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