Parents Speak Up: What Made Me Turn To Books
Different parents have different reasons why they encourage their children to read. We all know that books benefit children and even adults intellectually. Interestingly, some parents also have their unique reasons why they encourage and support their children to read, love books, and build a reading habit!
I want my daughter to read books because of their intellectual benefits to her. I am personally a believer in reading and how it will benefit my daughter in her early years of development. I turned to books because I know that through reading she’ll develop better comprehension, improve her focus, and widen her view of the world!
The academic advantage is the primary reason why I want my son to read. I want him to be ready for school, and I know that through books he is better ready for the challenges of the big school!
I turned to books for help because my children were having so much screen time! Children need something to keep them busy, and increased screen time will give them no good. So, I finally decided to be strict with screen time, I limited their use of gadgets, and I allocated time for the family to gather around and read a story together! For me, books are a great way to reduce the use of gadgets while keeping them busy!
I grew up reading books in the morning, noon, and evening. Back then, there were no gadgets so books were my escape, it was my favourite form of entertainment, and I LOVED every moment of it! I turned to books because I want my children to experience the same level of happiness that I had whenever I open a book. It’s magical, nothing compares to the form of entertainment a good book brings!
I noticed that my son only had a few favourite words that we would usually use. But, whenever I ask him about a new thing, event, or even an emotion, he would shrug his shoulders. This is when I realised that maybe I was not giving him enough space to learn more language and widen his vocabulary. I turned to books because I want him to explore more words that he can use to better express himself! This will not only benefit him in school but more importantly, in life!
Why Books Are An Important Part of Early Child Development
In a digital age, the value of books is not easily seen, understood, and appreciated by many, including parents of young children. What parents need to understand is that books have an important part in every child’s development. Reading has so many benefits, academically, emotionally, intellectually, and psychologically. It’s very important for the child to build a reading habit while they are young. Having a reading habit equips the child with the knowledge that they need to be ready for the big school. Moreover, the act of reading increases the child’s craving for knowledge, so they also seek to learn more and more through reading various reading materials.
Reading promotes brain development and imagination. When the child reads, he gives himself the chance to explore different worlds, and get to know different people, cultures, traditions, behaviours, and practices. A child that reads is not ignorant of differences in people, instead, they understand and appreciate differences because they read about them through reading.
Moreover, when a child reads more often, they also develop their language sooner. In fact, a child that reads has a wider vocabulary than their non-reading peers. Reading with your child encourages them to engage in meaningful conversations, and through these conversations, language is developed. Reading books with characters that have various emotions, also helps you discuss different feelings that the child must know how to identify and understand growing up. Understanding emotions will help them know how to control them so they react more appropriately to certain situations. According to professor Sam Wass: the earlier we establish conversations, the earlier children start language development.
How To Encourage Your Child to Start Reading?
Now that you understand the necessity of having a reading habit amongst children, the next question would be: how do I encourage my child to start reading? It’s important to understand that different children perceive reading differently. Some may have more inclination to read while others may be more hesitant and reluctant readers. Either way, there is something that you can do as a parent, caregiver, or educator.
Choose a book that’s interesting to your child. Books with personal relevance to them such as a personalised book are best for beginners and reluctant readers. In fact, a study by the National Literacy Trust found that books with personalised elements improve the child’s reading comprehension. Children that read personalised books increase their comprehension by 40% compared to those who don’t. Text ownership, using metaphors, both literally and figuratively, is an important step in the process of developing and identifying oneself as a reader (Dymore and Griffiths, 2010). Moreover, books designed to meet a child’s specific requirements and interests are highly likely to generate strong interest and participation from the reader (Kucirkova, 2010).
Buying a personalised book is like buying a personalised experience. You take your child into a world where they are the HERO of the story, you empower them to dream, and you build their character. A Super Personalised Book has over 200 character variations to ensure your child is well-represented in the books that they are reading. A book that’s inclusive of all colours, races, and ethnicity. The problem is that only 8% of books published in 2017 carry characters with a BAME background. Moreover, the population of school-age children in the UK (estimated to be about 35%) are not represented in the books available in libraries. Quoting Campbell Naidoo: “When children never see their culture represented in materials on the library shelves, they receive a resounding message that the librarian does not think their culture is important”.
If you want your child to have a profound foundation in reading, give them a personalised book to kick-start their reading journey. A book that’s inclusive of every race and culture, a book that every child will love and enjoy reading!