Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How to get your kids to love reading.

In my opinion, one of the biggest failure of our education system is we produce children who can read BUT hates reading. By Malaysian standard, before the kid reach 7yo, he/she must be able to read and write and do basic Maths. We make reading so regimented that it no longer becomes a pleasure. Young parents will start panicking if their 6yo has not figured out reading. And the diagnosis will always be there must be something wrong with the child. Let's push them harder.

By the time the kids enter school, the schedule will be so packed that kids hardly read books anymore. Most kids will associate book with school. So it will be very rare to see a schooling kid pick up a book in their free time. They would rather do other stuffs like computer games or watching TV or internet surfing. Isn't this sad???

There are many ways you can make reading interesting to a kid. Recently we joined the kids in CLIC to celebrate Dr Seuss's birthday. It was a belated celebration but what the heck. It was really fun. I was very impressed with the variety of activities the kids came out with. They can present anything related to Dr Seuss.
Read aloud.
 Short play.
 More short play.
 Dr Seuss's inspired cupcakes.
 Taste very yummy too.
 Dr Seuss's birthday cake.
Emily presented her drawing. 
Medina presented her story. With the help of big sister.
I was actually very surprised with Medina. She wrote the story herself. Inspired by The Lorax. It's a reminder to me that if you let the kid get lost in their own world, they can be really creative and surprise you. 

Medina's story. The Lorax & the marshmallows.

Do you like the story? I love it. But then, I am her mom...ha3 :-)

Anyway, after 4 kids, I learn not all kids are born as book worm. Luqman and Medina are voracious readers. They read above their peer's level. They are those kids that will read when they eat and pee and poo and after you switched off their room's lights. Hajar only started reading a lot when she was 12yo. Bored with UPSR preparation, she immersed herself in Harry Potter. And she has been reading a lot ever since. I guess she finally found her genre of interest. Emily is still not reading much. She only started reading when she's 8yo. And she cannot do phonics. I taught her reading using the phonographix method. She's still not a fluent reader. Nowadays, she read comics, picture books, cooking & art books. Most of the times, they are books below her age level. And it's most likely not literature kinda stuffs. Sometimes she pretends she's reading. I know some books are too difficult for her but I let her pretend.

To me, as long as they are surrounded by books, and surrounded by parents who read a lot, they should be OK.
Reading will nurture creativity. It will open magical doors. Doors that you never know it exist. Recently the kids participated in a charity bazaar to raise fund for Myanmmar kids. And they came out with the idea of naming their booth "The Rabbit Hole". And it just tied in nicely with the variety of stuffs they were selling. They had loads of fun pretending to be Alice, Mad Hatter & Rabbit. 
So really, it doesn't matter when the kids start reading. What is more important is to nurture kids who love reading. And they will continue to read for life. 


  1. wonderful..my daughter loves to read aloud.. and ask me to read with her.. but sometimes when she ask me over and over again.. mummy get tired

  2. Love your input.
    My daughter loves books.
    The type who reads upon waking up and whenever. Especially bedtime.