How to Encourage Reading
Your main priority when taking over the education of your child is to help them discover the magic of learning, and while that sounds lofty it can all be done by encouraging reading. Reading is the answer to everything: it encourages empathy and emotional growth, broadens the imagination, inspires laughter and sorrow, and fuels enthusiasm for discovery and experimentation. If you can have your children reading books, and enthusiastic about reading books, for the duration of their time at home, you have more than succeeded with just that alone.
Consider the age of your child and provide them with a stack of age-appropriate reading material. This can be both fiction and non-fiction but, since we’re focussing on English right now, prioritise fiction. Have them be a part of the choosing process. If they’re already a reader, ask them what their favourite books and genres are. If they aren’t, ask the same question but about movies and video games. Shop on Amazon or The Book Depository together and discuss (with enthusiasm) what kinds of books they would find most interesting. You’re off curriculum right now; they don’t need to be reading Lord of the Flies. So, here is their chance to discover their own new favourite book, and to learn from it.
Once you’ve got your books, read with them. Find a comfortable space to hole up together and start reading. Here are a few tips to make reading more engaging for them and for you:
· Turn the book into a play where you embody a few character roles, as well as the narrator. Act it out.
· At the end of a chapter, discuss why you think a certain character behaved the way they did, and debate what might happen next and why.
· Draw a map of the world; draw what you think the character looks like; draw a timeline of events. However you can, incorporate drawing into the reading process.
· When you’re not reading, bring up the characters and story in conversation. Ask what the protagonist would want for dinner, what they do when they wake up, where they would go on vacation.