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All or almost all of us know how good it is to read or enjoy a good book and reading. But how can we instill in our children the habit of reading? I think the first thing we have to consider is that 'you learn to cook by cooking', that is, if we want our children to develop the habit of reading, we have to make them spend little time reading and reading, whenever possible, a story to them.
Reading should be one more activity, if not daily at least weekly; If our son perceives standing in front of a book as an extraordinary moment or associated with studying, he will have trouble accepting it with joy and normality. Reading in the right environment influences; a quiet room, a library, the living room or the kitchen, in silence or with soft music, avoid distractions and invite reading.
Doing it with other people as well, stimulating the children's capacity for imitation, is always a good idea: parents, siblings, a friend with whom they can spend some time reading. My children love to comment on what they read or what they see in the pictures in their stories, if they cannot read yet. Illustrations are stimulating for them and they like to share them with others.
Selecting suitable books is also important. It is always emphasized that we do not offer small books with too many or too small letters; although I have found that children are not attracted for a long time to books that are too easy. Pictures are a direct and easy stimulus for them (they literally "enter through the eyes"), but nothing like written letter to stimulate their imagination. It's when they really imagine it.
Reading should be a desirable activity. By reading you learn new things, you reach distant countries, you cross the distances of History or the Universe. Reading can also be presented as a simple and quick leisure time: flipping through a book helps children relax, let their imaginations run wild while their tired body takes a breath of more hectic games. It is an excellent prelude to a nap. A visit to a specialized library or bookstore can be a great ally for us. There, children can find all kinds of books, a quiet environment, and share the pleasure of reading and exploring each book with other children. A really exhilarating moment for them.
Mirna Santos. Editor of our site
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