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How To Raise A Reader

 



Announcement: This post is written by my better half Puspanjalee who is an award-winning blogger and author. I have finally convinced her to write regularly for this blog on her ideas on parenting and raising a reader. 

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Living in India naturally makes you trilingual. You learn your mother tongue, Hindi as a lingua franca, and English as the second language.

But the learning curve for the mother tongue when you go to an English Medium school can be really steep.

It depends on you how you make your child read and write your mother tongue.

So, we thought of incentives for our son to learn how to read and write Assamese fluently.

We told him that he gets to read a whole lot of books when he learns to read Assamese.

And that trick worked like magic!

Being a reader, the possibility of reading books in his own language was a huge boost.

Being bookworms, it really lights our hearts to see a reader in our child.

But it was not easy.

You can not make your kid read books. You need to raise one.

Only reading together and a few similar habits will help you to raise a reader.

These are a few habits that will instill reading habits in your kids.

  • Read out loud. It can be a piece of paper, a story, a joke, or anything that has written words. Even if your child is a baby, read with them.

  • Tell story. Make their bedtime the storytime. That is also another easy way to bond with your child. My husband spends half an hour every night telling stories to our kid. It has helped him to increase vocabulary, fuel his imagination and speech.

  • Read together. Your kids will not wake up one fine day and read the books you give them. They need to see you reading one. Make sure you read regularly. Once they can read on their own, read together.

  • Discuss books. We often talk about our favorite childhood books with the kid. We share the story, share the memories related to the books and encourage him to read it.

  • Being based in Assam, a northeastern Indian state, our winters are dotted with book fairs. Book fairs have been constant in our whole life and we love going there. Sharing that euphoria of browsing books, listening to the authors, smelling the new books, and shopping books till we drop with our kid was one of the best things we did to instill the love for books in him.

  • Go to physical bookstores. Once in a while, we go to book markets to browse books and buy a few. We encourage the kid to watch interest-related YouTube shows and make a list of topics on which he wants to read. It has helped him to make choices when it comes to nonfiction books and pick them at a bookstore.

  • Except for the initial years, do not push your book choices to your kid. Make them choose the books. Talk about topics, watch shows, browse YouTube to broaden the horizon. Our kid is particularly interested in Geography and birds. So, we discuss these topics extensively. And when he visits a bookstore, he knows which books to choose.

  • Choose movies that are based on books. It also helps to encourage them to pick the books. Or do vice versa. Our son loved reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. So, we showed him the movie and he loved revisiting the scenes from the book.

  • Do not limit the books to nonfiction. Let them read comics, picture books, illustrations, stories, or anything that picks their attention. 

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