In today’s technology-driven world, teachers and young parents face a big problem: how to get children to read more. Wherever you go, you see kids thumbing through their smartphones or sitting quietly somewhere with their eyes glued to a screen, big or small. While some screen time can be beneficial for both parents and children, too much of it can have many negative effects.
One thing technology has had a big impact on is reading. Due to the influx of digital forms of entertainment—from iPad and console games to YouTube videos and cartoon streaming—young readership has undoubtedly declined. Today’s kids and teens spend more time on digital media. But this doesn’t come as a surprise. They are, after all, pure digital natives, unlike millennials who witnessed the transition from analog to digital.
But it isn’t too late to let kids miss out on the wonderful benefits of reading. There are many things parents, guardians, and teachers can do to spark young people’s interest in books.
How to Raise a Reader
Start them young
Let’s face it: kids nowadays would not survive without TV, video games, and the Internet, but they can do away without a book. But those who pick up a hobby at an early age tend to bring it with them up to adulthood. In addition to stimulating toys and puzzles, fill your kid’s nursery or room with picture books. Take a few minutes every night to read to your kid before bedtime. By doing so, you’re not instilling only essential values but also the importance of books themselves.
Balance Screen and Book Time
It’s safe to assume that kids have a natural inclination to stories. But it’s important to teach them that there are other equally interesting stories beyond the screen. Impose limitations on watching TV, using smartphones or tablets, or playing video games. Health experts suggest that kids should get a maximum of only two hours of screen time per day. To make sure that they don’t feel repressed, provide them with age-appropriate books as an alternative. To make the activity more fun and memorable, read with them or give them short quizzes or games afterward.
Fill Your iPad with Colorful E-books
Kids who are used to consuming digital media and hyper-realistic animation will naturally have a high standard when it comes to visuals. Traditional publishers may find this hard to contend with. Fortunately, today’s children’s book creators and publishers are continuously adapting to the times. They even encourage self-publishing children’s books. Children’s book self-publishing has become an ideal avenue for those wishing to explore other media. Today’s e-books are compelling, interactive, and educational. And while your child has to look at a screen, it is an experience that will benefit them in the long run.
Continue Kindling the Fire
It is a fact that people who are well-read are likely to become smarter, well-rounded, and successful. Literature opens up a person’s mind, tickles the imagination, and teaches human values that shape a person’s character. If your kid shows interest in literature, support this 100 percent by giving them words of encouragement and buying them recommended books for their age. Continue to do so as they grow older.
Keep in mind that, much like video games and cartoons, not all books are good. Keep an eye out of what your child is reading. You should make them love reading, but all the right books that they can also love.