Thursday 27 August 2015

Raising an avid reader

I count it my blessing to be raising a little avid reader at home. Jazz loves to read, and now, more skewed towards certain genres she prefers. 

My man thinks it's a trait of any girl to sit and read quietly. Probably refusing to give me any credit for cultivating that love in her reading. And partly because, we're not seeing this trait in the boy, yet. I proclaim the word 'Yet'. 

Whenever someone asks me about her love for reading, I often respond that I'm lucky she loves to read. But if there were some things that I did right, other than that element of luck. I guess it must be some of these doings:
Reading from young
We know reading begins really young. Babies for some. We started formal bedtime stories when Jazz turned a year old. A routine set, hard to change. We read to and with Js everyday. Even when we travelled, I would carry a light bedtime story book for read. I don't think we should stop reading to the kids even though they have started independently. It's a great way to bond too!

Visit the library
We visit the library fortnightly. An almost frequent and regular habit for us. Js own a library card and love browsing and picking books for loan. While they get to select their love, we make a deal to allow my picks too. Think the often neglected Chinese and non-fiction books.

Books over toys
When entertaining buying pleas, we agree more readily to books than toys. The downside is that, Jazz reads a book so speedily that I find it not too worth buying books so often. We learnt to hunt the library and second hand book stores (at Bras Basah)  more diligently.

Let them choose
Let them select what they like to read. Be happy that they are devouring one book after another. Rainbow fairies, Magic Ballerinas, Geronimo and Thea Stilton series are her current favourite. The commonly known series that would brilliantly keep one hungry for the next installment. We had a pact on a reading ratio of 1:3 - It's 1 book of my choice after reading 3 of her choices. I don't compel if she doesn't want my choice. I never run out of recommendations anyway.

The favourites she own

Raise Confident readers
So seriously, aren't the fairies and adventure series some worthless read?!! The love for reading often begins with raising confident readers, and that comes by reading something of their interest. Be glad they are reading something than none. They are some good English and creatively imagined stories after all. Think the writing composition skills they can get out of these stories. 

Book chart
For a start, you may want to do up a chapter book chart. Jazz had a sticker for every book completed and every 3 stickers entitled a treat. Her pace was so fast that we lost track and demolished this scheme. After all, we've reached the goal of cultivating the love for reading.

Home library
It is highly important to build a library at home and one that is easily accessible. I sorted Jare's books at the lower shelf, while Jazz's at a higher reach. Keep the books updated too, to their appropriate age of reading. Our baby books have been archived to the top shelf.

Mini home library

Animated story time
I am shamelessly gonna exclaim that I'm one dramatic and exciting storyteller! Which makes them come back for more. Only thing is, time do us apart. So yeap, we do need to invent our own speech and drama at times. 

Learn new words
Some days, we put a dictionary just next to us when reading. I do get questions on the unfamiliar words, and instead of explaining my layman and sometimes not so layman terms, I leave it to the dictionary. We explore new words together, learn dictionary skills and instill the hunger of learning new words. However, we do this on some days only. It can be daunting if done on all reading sessions.

Time for reading
Give them time to read. Let's not to overschedule them and leave them with little or no time for the things they love. We rarely do screen time on weekdays and with any free time over the weekends, Js would prefer to stay home. Strange kids, I know.

Don't procrastinate reading
Try not to procrastinate when they come running to you with a book, asking you to read. Reading and bonding is quite a priority. You see it essential to read, they will recognize that way too.

Support and talk
I had really see it important to support and talk about what they love to read and have read. Cars, planes, dinosaurs, fairies and adventures? They tell me about them, I'll listen. Really attentively most times.

We are some happy parents with her love for reading. Sometimes so much that I've to plead her to put her book down at inappropriate moments. I know it's tough to put it down, especially with pages that leaves her cliff hanging for the next.

She reads everywhere!
 Once, she fell and had a nasty abrasion on her knee while trying to walk and read. It wasn't just a painful lesson about reading at the right moment, I was also reminded about the moments I multi-task like her on my gadgets. We need to deal with our addictions!

And no, the man and myself are not explicit readers. We read so often online, that we rarely get our hands on any physical books or newspapers. It really is one thing to be thankful for raising a reading enthusiast. 

How else do you raise the little bookworms in your household?


  1. Good tips! My girls ask to be read to, only sometimes. Blaming it on myself and hubby for being a 'screen' family, computer, ipad, and kindle. I may start a book chart. Such a great idea to reward them with stickers :)

    1. Hi Michelle, can download some ebooks into the ipad too! I use the read along occasionally for my son, who's trying to read. Have fun with the reading journey!

  2. My boy is an avid reader but unfortunately my daughter does not. She does read but not as extensively. I'll grab some of the tips you share to see how it will help her increase her interest. ^_^

    1. Hi Phoebe, hope you do find some of these tips useful. I'm thinking I might need some luck for my son, if these don't work on him. Ha.

  3. NICE. I love the picture of your girl sitting in the armchair surrounded by books.

  4. Wish my girls would love to read too! Sadly both adults at home aren't avid readers ourselves. We have more toys than books around the house now. Hopefully as they grow older the ratio would change.

    1. Claudia, we began with more toys than books too! And the hub and me aren't avid readers. There's much hope!


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