Encourage Our Children to Read

There is a saying that literacy starts at home. I agree with that statement. Personally, I believe that children who are exposed to literacy at home are more likely to appreciate books and reading. They will have a more advanced vocabulary than children who are not exposed to these things.

I used to be a major bookworm in my younger days. I prefer reading to watching television. My reading materials were usually fiction novels, romance novels, biographies and self-improvement books. Due to time-constraint, my reading is now very much limited to current news and parenting books.

Nonetheless, parents who like to read do not automatically mean that their children will like reading too. In my household, I’ll encourage my son to hold a book and read rather than watching TV or playing electronic games.

Here are some of the things that I do to encourage Little Edison to read:

  • Read to him often

When Little Edison was younger, I bought board books for him. Our reading session involved just “reading” the pictures and narrating what we see in the book. Now, our reading session has advanced to words, sentences and reading a story in its entirety. Reading materials that I choose now are mostly phonics books, short stories and picture dictionary.

  • Bring him to the library

It can be as simple as a 20-minutes stop-and-read session in a library, even in the midst of our shopping trip or weekend outing. We also pick up a few books from the library to keep a steady supply of reading materials at home. I blog about Little Edison’s first library experience HERE.

  • Start a book collection

This is exactly what I want to do this year – find a tiny corner at our home and establish a mini library to keep his books. I began our book collection by ordering Scholastic Books through his school. They are inexpensive paperback books with a diversified range of reading materials. I also bought some short stories from the book store.

Through reading, I discovered that Little Edison has a preference for books on animals. He is also crazy about cartoon characters such as Dora the Explorer. More often, I’ll choose reading materials that are related to this cartoon character or animals to encourage him to read more.

What do you do to encourage your children to love books and reading? I love to hear from you.

I’m also looking for online stores that sell children books at affordable prices. Please buzz me if you’ve any recommendations. Thanks.


First Library Experience

I found a place where Little Edison can spend hours away from home, without getting stressed and in a safe supervised environment. On the other hand, I can relax without sweating out. Unlike the shopping mall, children cannot talk loud and unruly in this place. So indirectly, we are also teaching them about discipline here.

This wonderful place where children can also learn, socialize and gain a love for books is the public library. Experts agree that exposure to books is a key component of early literacy. The more exposure the children have to books, the more quickly and easily they learn to read. By taking them to the library on a regular basis, we can begin building the foundation of their reading education.

We brought Little Edison to Bishan Public Library two weeks ago. It was his first library experience. Initially, I was worried that he may have problem behaving properly in the quiet setting in the library. However, he proved me wrong and I was pleasantly surprised by his attention span and proper library behavior. He was fascinated with the vast variety of books in the children section. He can handle the books properly without ripping the pages.

As a basic member, I can loan up to 6 library items. Together with Daddy V, we picked up 12 children books for Little Edison. We can start our regular story time session at home without spending too much money to buy these books. And for sure, we will make the library visit a monthly event for Little Edison to establish good reading habits for a lifetime.

If you’re worried about your toddler’s noisy and squirmy behavior, do discuss with them about the proper library behavior and proper care of books prior to your visit. Choose a time when they are well-rested and well-fed. Remember – hungry and tired children will not be able to concentrate. It may take a few tries for them to settle down and understand what is expected in the library.

For more information about the national library, you can visit their website HERE.

Nurture a Love of Reading

One of my fondest childhood memories is reading story books in the school library. I was thrilled when I received my first library card. I visited the library after school everyday. I would borrow some of the story books to read at home too. My love for reading slowly established when I was young – largely due to the encouragement from my parents.

I want to nurture a love of reading in Little Edison too. This is my very-simple plan:

Step 1: Make reading part of our daily routine (in-progress)

  • I picked up a story books to read with Little Edison every night. One of his favorites is the Dora Phonics Reading Program that contains 12 story books about Dora’s adventures.

Step 2: Have plenty of books in the house (in-progress)

  • The expert says that books should be integrated into our family’s life every day. Keep books in the bathroom, on the bedside table, in the living hall etc.

Step 3: Visit the library or book store regularly

  • I plan to bring Little Edison to the library soon. I want to encourage his interest for books by allowing him to choose the books that he wants to read. Reading for pleasure should be our ultimate goal.

Step 4: Be a reader myself

  • One of the best ways to nurture a love of reading in Little Edison is to be an active reader myself. Oh well, let’s pick up a good book now and be a good role model to Little Edison.