Today, things have changed. There is a huge decline in reading among children, especially when reading for pleasure. In this article, we’ll explore why kids aren’t falling in love with reading, how to navigate reading difficulties among..
Today, things have changed. There is a huge decline in reading among children, especially when reading for pleasure. In this article, we’ll explore why kids aren’t falling in love with reading, how to navigate reading difficulties among children, and some tips that can help ignite the love for reading.
Meaningful reading is mostly happening in class where children know that the teacher is there with a test to check those who read and those who do not. It’s no longer about getting lost in the story and walking through the pages with the characters. We are on a mission to get kids excited about reading again and have written this article to help.
Let’s dive in!
The Digital Distraction
The digital space presents kids with a plethora of content and entertainment options that compete better for their attention than books. Once their eyes are glued to a screen for funny videos, social media platforms, or video games, it’s almost impossible to direct their attention to anything else.
Today, there are many digital devices available for children. Unlike books that require much time and focus before getting the reward, digital content offers instant stimulation and immediate gratification. Therefore, children prefer instant engagement from digital content to making an investment in reading a book. Kids are falling in love with the instant gratification of screens instead of with reading books.
Consequently, their reading habits diminish and digital content replaces their love for books. When kids are overexposed to digital media, especially visual content, they lose the imaginative and creative ability that reading would foster.
Reading as a Chore
The school system intends to promote literacy and instill solid reading habits among the students. Unfortunately, some of the actions employed in the school system ensure this academic success but may make reading feel like a chore for students.
For example, the school may choose certain books and include them in the curriculum such that every student must read them. While these books contribute largely to a child’s academic development, they may not align with their preferences.
Also, since the students are subjected to tests after reading and analyzing the books, the monotony of reading the books in preparation for the tests may feel tedious and unpleasant. These assessments may dampen their love for reading books in the future.
Lack of Access and Representation
Children learn better when they see themselves in the situation depicted in their content. That’s why digital content is effective in capturing their attention. Digital content presents the image of themselves to the child and allows them to learn from that image.
On the other hand, reading a book only triggers an imagination that a kid can try to access and see themselves in. Unfortunately, today’s children’s literature doesn’t often represent the child’s situation and may not click well with them.
Such a mismatch between the available content in books and the child’s present situation may discourage a kid from embracing learning and falling in love with reading.
The Disconnect: Reading Material and Interests
As children grow, they develop interests in different things that align with their personalities. You’ll notice that they begin to choose a particular way of dressing, enjoy some cartoons and dislike others, and even become selective in the type of books they read.
Unfortunately, children’s literature is inadequate in meeting the different needs of children in regard to their interests. Some non-traditional reading materials like comics and graphic novels try to meet this need and engage children through pictures. The goal is to capture their attention and get them to read the content.
Reading Skills and Confidence
Reading difficulties are common in kids, especially when they have not been exposed to books or have not cultivated a love for reading. Such kids try to avoid reading as much as possible for fear of embarrassing themselves in front of their peers.
When a child is struggling with reading, they experience a sharp decline in their confidence and consequently, they develop a strong dislike for reading books. They may also find it difficult to comprehend the book content and end up failing in class.
Therefore, it’s essential to address these reading challenges as early as possible so that kids can ignite a love for reading. The first step to making things better is to create a positive and supportive environment that encourages kids to keep reading without feeling embarrassed, even when they make a mistake.
Parental Influence and Reading Environment
Parents are the first teachers a child has and their role in shaping a child’s reading interests is undeniable. When a parent introduces reading to kids, they begin to cultivate a love for reading that goes with them for a long time.
Also, parents are responsible for creating a positive environment at home where a child is free to exercise and improve on their reading skills. However, if a parent rebukes their child sharply or laughs at them when they make a mistake while reading, they get discouraged and dislike reading altogether.
It starts with parents reading to their children, buying them age-relevant books, and encouraging them to read every day. Also, let your kids watch you as you read your books so that they can learn reading habits from you and adopt your love for reading.
How Can We Ignite a Love for Reading in Kids?
Kids who falls in love with reading has enhanced creativity and a lifelong love for learning. This means they’ll keep growing in knowledge and have an easier time navigating life problems.
Some ways to ignite the love for reading in kids include the following.
- Reading books to your child from their infant stage and tell stories to them as they grow. This will ensure that they start identifying with book characters and pulling out lessons that resonate with them early in life.
- Find age-appropriate books that pick your child’s interest and make them available to your child in school and at home. This will find something to read and enjoy in their free time.
- Encourage your child to choose a book that interests them instead of forcing them to read the one you choose for them. For example, schools can include several books in their curriculum to allow children to choose one for academic purposes.
- Encourage your child to read out loud and listen to themselves as they read. This way, you can hear when they make a mistake and you can guide them correctly. In return, they’ll learn how to pronounce words correctly, use expressive voices, and boost their confidence.
- Encourage them to join book clubs and any other opportunities to read with their peers. As kids read together and share their thoughts on the stories, they fall in love with reading more and more.
Turning the Page (Conclusion)
Books are a vast reservoir of knowledge. Therefore, it’s essential to encourage children to read more and foster in a love for reading that will remain in them for a long time. First, you’ll need to determine why kids aren’t falling in love with reading and then begin to address the issues.
It’s never too late to start cultivating love for reading in them. Start with telling stories, reading together, listening audio books, reading comics, and even discussing book characters with them. With time, you’ll succeed in igniting a love for reading in your kids.