You would have thought that if my kids were read to every night when they were young, they would be avid readers when they grow up. I can tell you that in our family, we are living proof that this is a myth! When my little ones were one year old and fidgeting about, I would bring a book to him and try reading out loud in the most interesting way to capture his short attention. Then, I found out the best time to read quietly to babies and toddlers was when they were drinking milk. I made it a habit to read to them every night and even had to negotiate with my kids on the number of books. They love my reading even up till today. While I thought once they reached Primary 1, they should be reading a book on their own. Reading chapter books. But Primary 1 came and went, they were still not so interested in Chapter books and hardly followed a series.
Most kids around us are reading, some voraciously. Their cousins finished Harry Potter series at age 9. I was so impressed! I was getting worried about my kids who were not so interested in picking up books. Most of all, I worried for their English language. The only way to improve English is only to READ, READ and READ! No shortcuts!
I tried all sorts of methods to get them to read. Mind you, it was hard work and futile work! I printed reading charts, gave reward stickers, allowed redemption for a small gift upon reading X number of books, brought them to the library every 2 weeks, nagged at them, cajoled, encouraged, left books lying around, did book exchange, and many more. All these failed to get them to read. Sometimes, I wondered whether I was such a good story teller that my kids refused to read by themselves.
Finally, one day, I started to realize there was one common thing these avid reading kids have! They all have mums or dads who love to read! Maybe that is it! Continue reading