Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Read Gujarat - Cultivate Reading Habits

Some time ago, I referred to Encourage reading , Trouble shoot areas, choosing Books and reading aloud.

As summer time will be a 'Read Gujarat' Initiative by CM Narendra Modi, some thoughts on reading as you encourage and motivate kids to form the habit of reading.

I find many parents who approached me for Library class, want their children to form the reading habit and have mentioned that they have laid rules for reading and television viewing.

I think, Reading should not be a forced activity but made interesting by narrating, communicating, expressing and showing pictures in the book. Discovering books in a Library or at a store should be a routine. Encourage children by talking 'just books' with added Scrap book fun. Children love to draw and add color while they write a review or part of the story. Even games are fun while reading. Making spelling games, board games, cards and so on. Reading should never be serious and this is no learning. Let kids lighten up. Stories and comics are meant to be fun together. Some kids love fiction, some like poetry whereas some like non fiction. Let the child make his choice.

The most important factor is setting priorities and setting example. If a parent or a teacher is not into the habit of reading, they fail to make it 'fun reading' and even make boring sessions for the kids. Children who see the adults reading follow the footsteps as they are prone to imitate elders. Setting reading priority is even more essential part because reading habits are formed through setting of routine reading sessions. It can be once a week, two hours of every day, half an hour to two.

Moreover, We need to encourage children to write 'Weekly review Journal' of stories they've read with a simple jot down in the scrap like: (It can be a daily review too)

Name of the Book
Name of the Characters in the Book
Best Part I like
Hard Words in the Book
My Opinion or Moral of the story
Lastly, Sign of the Student and Teacher's sign.

Once a week, one review writing and you have 52 reviews ready in a year. Even if the child skips writing, at least there will be 25 book reviews written - five may be beginning efforts but the remaining will be written properly with a little bit of help from the parent or teacher. I have students who've submitted 40 reviews + in a year. In the process, the child improves on reading, narrating and even sharpen language skills and handwriting. If a student dislike review writing, there should be an option to write a letter to a friend telling about the story. Here's Swagat Page with list of students who've read +25 and +40 reviews. You can submit reviews to Kidsfreesouls and get into Global List of Readers on Kidsfreesouls.

Engage kids for creativity with many related activities as reading alone is not enough and it may end up a boring activity. Let the creative juices flow and gradually, the habit of reading is developed! Another idea is for Literature reads. Explore the Literature section of Kidsfreesouls and follow the tips here. Kidsfreesouls has conducted Literature Projects and Fairyland Projects - creative ideas always do help.

Btw, here's a video on Choosing Books and Reading aloud in Kidsfreesouls You Tube.

As most of the children appear for exams in April, here's wishing all the best luck and meanwhile, I chart out all the book recommendations, drop in back to read more on the blog.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for kids
Guardian of Angels: A Practical Guide to Joyful Parenting


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