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10 Ways for Parents to Encourage Their Child to Read

10 Ways for Parents to Encourage Their Child to Read

Encouraging children to read has been a challenge as long as there have been kids and books. Reading is essential not only in education, but in the modern business world where so much communication takes place digitally, over email and text-based messaging systems. Because of this, the ability to read for comprehension and to communicate effectively is vital, and needs to be taught at a young age. Beyond that, reading for pleasure provides a wealth of benefits for kids as they go through school and into adulthood. A study of more than 17,000 people, recording their reading habits and academic success as children, found that those students who read for pleasure not only did better with their vocabulary and spelling, but also in math. The connection was four times as strong as that of students whose parents had graduate level degrees.

Here are some tips for parents to encourage their kids to read and turn a young reader’s reluctance into enthusiasm.

1. Develop children’s oral language

Depending on the child’s language skill level, give him a story to read or have a story read to them. When the story is finished, ask your child to pinpoint favorite parts of the story. This can enable children to have fun picking out words and develop an interest to move to the next page.

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2. Read several stories every day

The more children are exposed to literature, the more reading will become part of their daily life. A child is introduced to new information, concepts, and phonemic awareness with every story.

3. Surround your children with reading material

Children with a large collection of reading resources in their homes score higher and perform better on standardized tests. Provoke a reading habit in your child by having a large array of interesting books and magazines at her reading level.

4. Encourage a wide variety of reading activities

Make reading an essential part of your children’s lives. Let them read menus, movie name, roadside signs, game guides, weather reports, and other practical everyday information. Always try to make sure your children have something to read in their spare time.

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5. Use technology to increase self-esteem

Technology is changing the way we all learn, and it can have a positive impact on kids and their reading. By adding technology like tablet e-readers to the classroom, students’ self-esteem and confidence rises. Technology also gives students who have grown up in an age of smartphones and ubiquitous computers another outlet with which they are familiar to grow and learn. Building self-esteem through applied technology and increased reading skills can have a positive ripple-effect on every other area of a student’s life.

6. Let them use e-readers

E-readers can be adapted to each person’s specific needs. If you have a kid who needs larger font or less lines per page in order to improve their reading ability, e-readers are perfectly suited to this kind of tailoring. E-readers are adaptive for students with learning disabilities as well, and can help level the playing field for children who learn differently.

7. Let them choose what they read

Reading for pleasure is one of the best ways for a child to improve his performance at school, but teaching a child to love reading involves a lot more than simply handing him a book. Letting children have choices in their reading material goes a long way in raising life-long readers. Kids who choose what they read, regardless of whether it’s a novel, a comic book, or a magazine, are more engaged with what they are reading and more likely to retain the information.

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8. Help them choose age-appropriate books

Help your kids choose age-appropriate books on topics that interest them to spark a passion for reading. Take them to the library or even show them e-readers that provide entire libraries of options at the touch of the screen. Access to a wide-variety of options helps make it easier for parents to help their children find the stories that give them that toehold into the world of reading.

9. Make use of gadgets and creative apps

Your smartphone or tablets can be used to install useful reading apps where kids can have safe spaces for reading without parents worrying about what they might come across online. Parents are able to choose what their children can access, as well as how long they can do different activities with timer features.

10. Show interest in your child’s reading

Your response or feedback has a strong effect on how hard they will try to become good readers. Always remember to give them genuine praise for their efforts.

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Reading for pleasure seems to give kids an advantage in school because they are used to be introduced to new ideas and can process them more quickly and effectively than their non-reading peers. E-readers have opened the doors to getting the next generation back into reading. Easy access to an array of topics and stories is sure to spark an interest in even a reluctant reader, and increasing technology provides better tailored learning opportunities while increasing self-esteem and confidence in the classroom.

Featured photo credit: Madeline ~ Magical Pages/CT Pham via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

1. Take the scenic route.

Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

2. Distract yourself.

No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

3. Listen to music or podcasts.

There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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4. Bring a friend.

Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

5. Accessorize.

There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

6. Compete.

A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

7. Relax.

The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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