Love of reading and strong reading skills are some of the most fundamental indicators of child’s future academic achievements and success. And the earlier you can get your child to fall in love with reading, the better.
According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, it is crucial to build reading skills by the time the child turns 8 years old. According to the study, up until that age, children are learning to read, but afterward, they are reading to learn.
The Montessori Method offers many ways to help encourage children to read. Here are a few that will help instill the habit of reading in your child:
- Make sure books are within reach. As a Montessori parent, you probably already have a shelf with toys and games that children can reach. Try adding a basket with books that your child would enjoy.
- Keep a variety of books in rotation. By providing variety, kids will be excited to see what new options are available, and get inspired to reach for books more often.
- Create a “cozy corner” or other reading nook to give your child a place where they can be comfortable reading. A corner makes an ideal location – just add a comfortable, pike-sized chair or go with some fluffy pillows. Some inviting art of a colorful paint job is another touch that can make this an inviting place for your child.
- Take time to discuss the books you read with your child. Try finding ways to relate those stories to their everyday life.
- Create an Adventure. Much of the Montessori philosophy is focused on allowing students to make their own choices – and that also applies when encouraging them to read. Before your child can begin reading books, they need to select a book. And what better place to do that than the library? Making trips to the library — and making a big deal about it — will make it a fun adventure that your child will look forward to.
- Teach by Example. If you want your child to be a reader, you’ll need to set a good example. Read more traditional paper books, instead of electronic or audio versions, so your child can see you in action, display the books on a book shelf, and talk about your love of reading with your child.
Reading is a wonderful learning activity that can be enjoyed by children and parents alike and help you bond. It can be done starting at the youngest of ages, as even infants will find the sound of their parents’ voice to be soothing. Make reading an everyday habit to really get the most benefit from it and instill the habit of reading in your child. It only takes a few minutes a day, but the benefits will last a lifetime.