Developing the Habit of Reading

If you ask students nowadays what they do in their free time, most of them will describe activities that involve technology. With the Internet, video and computer games, gadgets, and television, other hobbies like solving puzzles or exploring outdoors rarely get mentioned. Worse, the whole idea of simply sitting down and reading a book has almost vanished.

As a parent, you wonder how you can help your child develop the habit of and joy for reading.

Studies show that parents and friends have the biggest influence on children. The people that children spend the most time with are the ones who govern their thoughts and directions in life. To be around people who promote learning and reading is always a good thing for your child.

Here are some of the numerous ways to get your child involved in books and begin enjoying the whole reading process:

Bed-time stories

Despite it taking a good amount of initiative, getting your child exposed to books at a young age is the best way for him/her to pick up the reading habit. In fact, associating bedtime stories with books is a good start. Simply read out and aloud to your child, with complete expressions and sounds. This will not only help him/her understand the story better but also help build the imagination and enhance creativity. Also, associating images with words is the first step toward reading books.

Reading and reciting poems

As your child gets older, he/she becomes curious about other stories and genres. You can introduce your child to poems since these pieces are a great way to improve his/her understanding of language and grammar. Getting your child to recite poems is also a good way to practice oral reading and communication. Poems evoke deeper thought and understanding especially when recited.

Find out their interests

Your child develops a greater curiosity if he/she is reading something that he/she is interested in. This is why it is extremely important to know exactly what your child is looking for in books. He/she might prefer fantasy and science fiction to historical and biographical fiction. Without you understanding your child’s world, it becomes quite a challenge for you to expect him/her to enter into the world of reading.

Read as a family

Studies have shown that a child mimics their family to a large extent. So if your child sees that you are a family that enjoys reading and discussing books together, then he/she will enjoy the experience even more.  Also, this can be an opportunity for you and your child to become closer and learn more about one another.

As a parent, you play a very important role in introducing and making the process of reading as pleasant as possible for your child. It is said that reading is a habit that people generally develop at a young age. But some older people still have not learned to appreciate it. Just remember that it is never too late to start developing a habit and love for something.

So grab a book and start reading now!


Kumon is the world's leading after-school enrichment program. We offer two subjects: Math and Reading in more than 300 Kumon Centers nationwide.

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