When Mum Reads, Kids Read

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