5 tips on how to get your child to start reading early

The love of reading is developed in a child’s early years and remains for life. Here are some tips on how you can encourage your child to take an interest in reading, to improve learning skills and develop early reading habits:

1. What you say matters: It is important to talk to your child on  a regular basis in order to build his vocabulary which he can later relate to while reading. Low levels of communication and exposure to linguistics creates a gap between the reading and the child’s level of understanding. The quality of language used around the child is one of the basic factors which help them to talk, understand, and subsequently encourage them to read.

2. Copying the parents: If a parent watches too much television, it is quite likely the child will do so too. The same is true in the case of reading. Demonstration of love of reading is likely to have more impact on a child than merely asking to him to read. According to research conducted by the Committee on the Prevention of Reading Difficulties in Young Children, National Research Council, children as young as six weeks can be introduced to books in order to familiarize them with reading.

3. Conversation and informal approach encourages very young children to read: As they grasp a new skill, young children need all the encouragement they can get. Therefore reading together not only improves comprehension, it results in happy, quality-time spent as a family. The use of a dictionary to look up words and many other language nuances such as opposites, homonyms, synonyms and so on can be taught at this time.

4. Buying the right book is critical: If the books are too difficult to read, then it is likely that your child will not be motivated to read it. If it is too easy then they might not read the book a second time. Before you buy an early childhood education books,check whether your child is interested in reading the book. The age indicators on the books are helpful but not 100% reliable.

5. Don’t pressure your child! You need to encourage your child to learn at his natural pace regardless of whether it's reading, writing or getting school work done. You need to make him want to read, instead of feeling obliged to read. Making reading fun works better than treating it like homework.

6. However, the first step to reading is getting your child familiar with the alphabet and then getting him to recognize those within a book. You can start with the alphabet as early as the age of two and go at a healthy pace to help your child learn naturally.