What is the best age and way to introduce reading in kids?

India
May 20, 2007 11:58pm CST
My son is seven year old and he loves to listen to stories but is not an avid reader. This is a continuous discussion in my home how to make him indulge in reading regularly any comics or any books. I feel we should read a story with him at bed time thats enough and his books should be more like sleeping time stories or famous five style. while my husband wants him to read epics or moral value stories. Sometimes I find words are really difficult for him to comprehend. I also feel forcinghim to read for one hour daily in late evenings will slowly make him detest books altogether. I think we should leave him alone and go according to his mood and since we both are avid readers he will pick up the habit on his own. what do you all say?
6 people like this
21 responses
@maehan (1445)
• United States
21 May 07
I read to my children when they are one year old. Slowly, at the age of three, I introduce them simple graphic story with 2 or three words with lots of pictures. I make up the story from the picture. This will help them in their vocabulary and creativity. At the age of 4 ~ 6 which is right now. I usually borrow books from library which is according to their age. They love to read. We usually sit together for at 1/2 hour and read our old book. Take it slowly, otherwise, kids may take it negatively.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 May 07
Your absolutely right I actually started reading to my kids when they were babies why because the sound of your voice soothes them and then when their abut 8 months they like looking at pictures so picture books are really good up and then the old time favorite Dr.Seuss..introduce early and the kids will bring you the books
@liranlgo (5748)
• Israel
21 May 07
My parents started reading me stories when i was 4 years of age, they read me alote of stories, i am talking about at least two stories each day. When i was five years old, they just decided that they will stop doing that, and when i screamed for a week, (i got addicted to those stories..Lol), they just told me that if i wanted to hear more stories, i would have to read them by myself. Well i can only tell you that i asked them to teach me how, and about two months later, i already read my own stories. I could not cope with the idea, that i will not read stories as a child. I do think that you should not force your child to read, i think that you should try doing what my parents did to me, they got me addicted to interesting stories, and at some oint they did not continue with the reading, or they just did not tell me the end of the story, so i just learned how to read. Try that and tell me if it worked. :)
@senthil2k (1501)
• India
21 May 07
The best way is to be a live yourself as a best example. Try to read many books before your children. While you read, tell them how good you feel reading the books, how you get the knowledge while reading the books etc. This will motivate your children. You know, children take their parent as their first and best example. Also, give them some books that are of their interests. For eg., if your child is interested in cricket, give them some funny books regarding crickets.. Hope this might help you..
@us2owls (1681)
• United States
21 May 07
My grandaughter read to her child from a very early age. The little girl was 8 in January. She has read every Harry Potter book and can't wait for the new one to hit the stores. She has read some of the classics including Pride & Predjudice and Wuthering heights and she doesn't just read she absorbs what she is reading because when she is done with a book she can tell you what it was all about. I think it depends a lot on the child - but if you start reading to them from an early age then they are done with the little kids stuff by the time they reach 6 or 7 and are starting in school. I think a lot depends on the individual child and the parents.
@hollowheart (1572)
• India
21 May 07
Hi Neelam, i am afraid that even i am just like ur son who hates to read, unless its an SMS or an email or any of these discussions on mylot. However there is no harm in giving a bi of try. make him feel there is a lot of interesting things in the books, or try to start by books containing topics of his interest.
1 person likes this
• Pakistan
21 May 07
Kids are naturally attracted by illustrations in a book, any book that is depicting funny cartoon characters always catch a kid's eyes so first of all make sure the books are not just full of text, rather than it should be combined to develop an interest in your child. Another good way is that you can promise your kid that you will get him the cartoon of the book once he/she can read it avidly, it can sure help and you can get the cartoon(s) to keep your word and to make the kid long for the next one. Also it would be a good idea to take your child to the library and if there is no library near your place you can try to go out shopping for some new reading material for your son and let your son decide which book or title interest him the most, this way you can know a bit more about what he is attracted to. Stories about myths, legends and fables always attract any kid, maybe you could try getting those books as they make a child more creative and imaginative. Hope this helps you out.
@raydene (9874)
• United States
21 May 07
Reading to children from birth is a good way to start.Let your child see you enjoying a book.I used to read out loud when I was pregnant.Most of my children love to read.I have one son that reads at least 5 novels a week.He will read at every spare minute.He also skateboard, works, helps around the house, and helps his grammy once or twice a week.I rewarded reading but didn't force.Like for reading a book at you sons age and telling me about it earned a trip for an ice cream cone at the parlor.Make a game of it.Let him have control of when and how often he can earn something special.Good Luck
1 person likes this
• India
21 May 07
story listening is very comman and usual among kids. the reason is that get nurishment for their thoughts to go mature. it is much like the kid is gaining experience without actually takeing pains. reading or learning how to read is not a natural thing so some motivation is required to make kids learn reading and taking interest in books. for this one can start by giving kids picture-books and ask them to tell their story on pictures. then father and mother can tell the kid that his story is good not as much as written in the story book and telling him the story from a book. this is how the kid will start takeing interest in written stories so that he also can narrate a story of that level to earn commendation from his parents.
@wachit14 (3600)
• United States
21 May 07
I took my kids to the library all the time when they were kids. I signed them up for their own library cards and took them into the children's reading room. I let them selected three or four books to read and they would take them home. I would read the books to them while they sat on my lap and I would point to each word as I was reading. If there was a word that stumped them, I would explain the meaning of the word to them. Eventually, they grew to love reading and now that they are teenagers, they have very distinctive tastes for books, but they both love to read.
@Lindalinda (4112)
• Canada
21 May 07
We started to read to our children when they were about one year old. We chose very simple stories with lots of pictures. One of the boys started to read when he was four years old, the other when he was five. The important thing for you is to keep reading to your child and not force him. If you want him to enjoy reading give him simple books that interest him and are age appropriate or below until he is fluid in reading. Does he like animals, birds, plants or adventures accomplished by children? Read the same story with him many times until he knows it by heart and will "read" (recite) it to you. This will make him very proud and give him a sense of accomplishment and the incentive to learn more.
• United States
21 May 07
Reading is important, and to really help kids along reading stories to them should be done as soon as they are born. They like the sound of the human voice, and just because they can't understand the words does not mean they aren't getting something from the story. It helps develop cognitive abilities and helps them develope language. A story at bedtime is nice, but stories all the time are even better. They don't have to be just for sleeping. It's a relaxing activity and a great bonding activity between the parent and the child. Being read to helps them develop a love of reading. I really don't think you should force him to read, you should encourage it, by telling him how much you love reading, and maybe by reading him stories that you enjoyed will help him begin to love reading, especially if you let him know how much you enjoyed the story yourself. Try to get him involved in the story reading process, don't make him just listen. Let him come up with his own ideas about the story, and let him ask questions.
1 person likes this
@ajinomoto23 (1057)
• Philippines
22 May 07
Picture words is the first step to start a reading habit. If children see you read they will imitate you. I remember holding my stepbrother as I read the newspaper. I think as a baby he is interested.
@toplen (335)
• Philippines
22 May 07
I liked reading books when I was 10 years old. It was the hype in our school then...everyone was reading Nancy Drew, Archie's comics, Sweet Valley high, Mills & Boon, Reader's Digest...etc...and so me and my classmates started borrowing each other's books. We'd race as to who read the most books and what. It was fun. My love for books now developed from there. I don't buy though, I still borrow lolz...
@cjthedog64 (1553)
• United States
22 May 07
I started reading to my son when we were still in the hospital. I guess he was about 3 hours old. We read Goodnight Moon. From then on, we've read every night before bed, and before almost every nap. It's a great bonding time for us. He's 17 months now and he loves all his books. He'll sit down and read to himself, talking about the characters and pictures because we've read them so often. With your 7 year old, I'd recommend that you read some sort of a chapter book on a subject that interests him, and at a level that is slightly higher than what he's capable of reading himself. That will spark his interest in the story and give him incentive to want to increase his ability to read on his own. He should be encouraged to read for 15-20 minutes at a time on his own also. That can be anything that he's interested in, and at a level that is comfortable for him. As he gets better, he'll be able to read more difficult things. Good luck!
@leeesa (885)
• United States
22 May 07
My daughter's been reading since age 4. I would never force reading upon a child. I believe more in encouraging their desire to read. Make it fun. Read together. Take turns reading every other page. Ask questions about the story. This helps them to comprehend what they are reading.
@toe_ster (771)
• United States
22 May 07
Any reading is better than no reading. I am in the same boat as you with my 6 year old. We read 2 books at night (his choices). But other than that he shows no inclination to do it on his own. I do believe it is our job as parents to enforce not force them to read. Set aside an hour or half hour or whatever works. Come up with a game or contest or something to try and motivate him. My son doesn't want to do it because it is too hard. I feel that if I don't keep encouraging him I am failing him. I will be teaching him that there are things in life we won't like doing so just don't do it. It doesn't always have to be books. It could be comics, or magazines, cereal boxes even. Anything to get him to practice. I think the only way to learn is by doing. So keep encouraging him. Even on his moody days. Best of luck
@tsgirl01 (900)
• United States
21 May 07
Hi neelampatel007, how are you? Well, I hear that reading from the womb is good. However, everyone is not going to be an avid reader because of it. Years ago a pediatrician told my Mom to let me read whatever I wanted to. I read lables...anything will do, I must read. I think giving a child reading materials that interest them will do the trick. If your son loves cars, trains or whatever it is that attracts his attention, offer him books on those subjects and that should be good to start him on his way. But always remember, we are all not avid readers. Hope I got my point across...take care...
@JanMags (726)
• Philippines
21 May 07
Yes, I believe that it is a good idea to read to babies as soon as they are born. It is not however, such a good idea to force them to read. I am now a voracious reader but i used to detest reading when i was a kid because my siblings were always trying to force me. I started reading when i was eleven when i found a book on a TV show that was my favorite. You should continue to read to your child as much as possible. This might encourage him to read on his own later. Start with picture books. But let him go at his own pace. There are also some people who are just not readers and who will only read when necessary. Accept your child for who he is.
@Kalikala (433)
• United States
21 May 07
I started reading when I was 2, and I've always loved it. I think that for now, reading stories to him is a good way to start to get him more interested in books. Maybe find out what his favorite kind of story is, and look for those. Also, you might want to pick up some books that you know will be easy for him- maybe reading some books that he finds easy will build up his confidence.
@earthsong (589)
• United States
21 May 07
I started reading to my kids when I found out I was pregnant with them. Only my two youngest have always read for pleasure. My oldest is now 16 and she has just begun reading for pleasure within the last year. We all want our kids to love to read, and have a desire to read the classics and more intelligent writing. But you can't force it on them. You could try to barter with him to read. If he's allowed video games give him so much time of reading earns him so muh time playing games. Maybe promise him a treat to do a short book report so that you know he's truly reading and understanding what he's reading.