There is no denying that there are instances of students performing well in English with just repeated rounds of practice and rote-memorising of model compositions; All of this achieved while barely having read any books. Why then is there still such a great emphasis on reading books and cultivating a love of reading?
According to the MOE website (as cited below), reading is important for the “holistic development” of students. Indisputably, through reading, students can develop critical thinking skills and build empathy by relating to characters in the book. Though definitely, reading is not as crucial in ensuring good results in English. However, doing well in English will come much easier when students are avid readers. This is because students are naturally picking up language skills and widening their vocabulary while they are reading.
Though as parents, it is understandable why cultivating a love of reading in your children may be tough. This may be in part due to the prevalence of technology compared to many years ago. Devices now take over the place of what once books were as sources of relaxation and distraction. How should parents then inculcate a habit of reading in their kids, much less, a love for reading?
1. Make Regular Trips to the Library or Bookstores
Libraries are great places for children as they have free reign over the books they want to read. Be it, mystery, horror or adventure, they are spoilt for choice when it comes to whichever genre books tickle their fancy. The best thing about the national library, is, of course, that borrowing book is free-of-charge and the quota on the number of borrowable books is a whooping 16. Bookstores like Popular and Kinokuniya are the more costly alternatives, but these are great options if your child wants a specific book or a book that was released recently. Membership discounts also make these more incentivising and make registering for one worth investing in if parents prefer buying books or foresee buying books on a regular. Make such trips to the library or bookstores regular to encourage a fresh renewal of books to read.
2. Implementing a No Devices Corner/Time Period
Consider implementing a reading nook in the house where it can also act as a no-devices zone. As mentioned previously, technology runs rampant in our daily lives and can prove to be very distracting, for children especially. Dedicating a space for reading where no devices can be used ensures that all focus is on reading. Otherwise, parents may also consider implementing a no-devices time period, by keeping all devices away under firm lock and key. Encourage children to read during this time.
3. Look to Books that Have Been Retold in Video Format Online
If physical books are still not appealing or stimulating for children, there are books that have been retold online in video format. Children may find it more engaging as there is use of visuals, animation and fun dialogue.
To learn other ways to build up your child holistically, check out our previous article on the 3 ways to build leadership skills in your child.