Our world contains so much information. Education cannot be confined to the classroom, because there just are not enough hours in the school day to learn everything. You can educate your child outside the classroom if you get them reading. To do so, consider doing the following:
Turn off the TV and Electronics
Your child only has so many hours in a day and after school activities and homework, take up evening hours. It is a scientifically proven fact that TV and electronics right before bedtime can affect the quality of sleep, often making it more difficult for children to fall asleep. Consider eliminating or at least limiting TV time on school nights, and initiating an hour of reading each evening.
Make Reading Part of Everyday Life
Have books, magazines, and newspapers around your home so your children view them as part of daily life. In addition to encouraging reading, studies show that simply having many books in your home has a significant effect on the level of education your child attains. When your children are still infants, include specially made, durable cardboard or cloth books.
Our family sat in the living room each evening for a time of reading. We started out setting the time at one hour, but found it was best to vary the time. When everyone, including parents, began wiggling and needing to use the restroom, we called an end. Our average time was around 45 minutes. Not only did it encourage reading, but helped our children learn to sit still.
Look for books that tie in to your children’s interests. You can also look for award winning books and check on-line for books recommended for a particular age. Consider subscribing to at least one age or interest-specific periodical for your child. Look for books with colorful illustrations. As soon as your child is able to do so, let them begin choosing their own reading material at the library and bookstore.
Read to Your Child
By far the most effective way to encourage your children to love books and reading is to read aloud to them. Remember that the earlier you start the better. Hopefully, you began when your baby was only a few months old, showing pictures, listening to your voice, and turning cardboard pages. Children of every age love having a book read to them. As your child gets older, ask questions or discuss the book when you are through reading. You can also have your children read to you.
Visit the Library and Bookstore
Your neighborhood library offers the ability to browse through books, choosing from a wide variety of materials for every age and interest. You will find that some books are your children’s favorite, asked for and read repeatedly. These books make good additions to your home library. You will also want to add some children’s classics to your home library. Locate the discount bookstores in your area and consider used bookstores.
Get your child reading outside the classroom. Reading can open up a whole new world of learning for your child. Make time for reading, provide reading material, and emphasize the pleasure derived from reading, and you will add to your child’s knowledge of the world around them and improve their learning.