In order to properly foster a child’s love of reading and learning, you should start with little nudges from early childhood. Even though your kids may not know to read properly, you can still boost their interests in the world around them with picture books. In general, the bigger their love of reading and learning, the more knowledgeable, confident and successful your kids will become as they grow up. And you’re the one who can support them on this journey without pressure!
Reading should be fun
You can’t expect your kids to embrace reading and learning on their own. They need a proper incentive. At a young age, that incentive should match the things they find entertaining. If you want to teach your kids to read before they start school, the best approach is to read their favourite bedtime story together. Of course, make sure that the book has plenty of pictures to attract and engage them. This won’t be a quick process but it will definitely pay off as the kid starts expressing their interest and motivation to “conquer” the story with their own power and knowledge. So, stick to their favourite stories in order to help them associate the act of reading to a fun pastime.
Learning through play
To encourage your child’s love of learning, you also have to keep in mind that fun and play will work the best. All kids want to play when they’re young and they can’t grasp the traditional concept of learning. This is why you should never force it on them, especially not when they’re still very young. However, constructive yet fun playtime is a great way to introduce your child to the wonders of the world. When they’re allowed to act their age and enjoy themselves, kids will also find it entertaining to pursue their interests further, little by little.
A healthy learning environment is key
Most parents these days lead busy lives and often seek help from day cares that will look after their kids while they work. But if you’re already willing to go to day care, why not enrol your kid in an early childhood learning centre? If you take the time to find the right place for your kid, you can be sure that the centre offers a beneficial holistic approach that allows the kids to develop their individuality and interests as well as social skills. What’s more, as they spend time in a learning centre, the child will get to actually learn through play in the company of their peers.
Bring value to knowledge
Kids can’t be impressed by simple statements about knowledge and learning value. But what they can understand is the happiness they get to feel when they know something. In that respect, give them opportunities and ideas on how to use their knowledge to their own benefit. If they read something, for example, they can tell the story to their friends. If they learn about plants and seasons, they can help you in the garden. In case they’ve learned how to read, they can read you the bills and letters or help with shopping and cooking. Of course, don’t forget to reward them every time they use their newly gained knowledge.
Let the kids explore
You can’t expect your kids to reach their full potential when learning is considered if you’re overprotective. It’s only natural that you want and should keep your kids safe, but you won’t do much if you don’t let them explore the world outside their home. Outdoor play is crucial for developing critical thinking, motor and social skills, as well as interests that move them to learn more. That said, spend as much time as possible outside with your kids.
Developing a love for reading and learning is a gradual and continuous process. Instilling this love when they’re still young will stick with your children as they grow up, which is essential for their further personal (and professional!) development in the future.