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11 Way to Instill a Love of Reading in Your Child

11 Way to Instill a Love of Reading in Your Child

Reading helps us in every area of our lives. It helps us become successful in school and later in our careers and it helps us grow as individuals by either teaching us new information or by allowing us to step into someone else’s shoes. Reading can also help us become more compassionate and empathetic, as well as give us pure enjoyment and relaxation.

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    Instilling a love of reading in your child is one of the best gifts you can give them in their life. Here are 11 ways to do just that.

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    1. Read to them regularly, with expression and in different voices.
    2. Model reading. Let your child see you read often. It can be cookbooks, magazines, the newspaper, novels or non-fiction.
    3. Talk about the books or articles you have been reading. This is a great thing to do at dinner time. Share the excitement or intrigue you have experienced.
    4. Schedule 30 minutes after dinner or every Thursday evening as “Family Reading Time”.
    5. Start your own “Family Book Club” if your children are between 10-18 years old. If your child is studying a novel in school, why not make that the book for the month?
    6. Buy books where their name appears. This is a fabulous technique for encouraging reluctant readers! It worked brilliantly with me as a child. I used to be the student who would read the first and last chapter of a book, along with the summary, and write a book report. This all changed when my mother bought me a novel with the main character’s name being Erin. Powerful, yet so simple!
    7. Find books that come with a CD either in bookstores or the library so your child can listen and follow along. This is also a fantastic way to encourage reluctant readers or to keep the motivation high for those children who are struggling with learning how to read.
    8. Always give books as at least one part of a birthday, Christmas, Easter, or holiday gift.
    9. Give books “just because” for teamwork tasks (aka chores) being well done or because you noticed them demonstrating a positive virtue like compassion.
    10. Take your child to the library regularly. It could be to participate in a library program or just to hang out and read. What about making every second Sunday your family’s library day and follow it up with a hot chocolate so you can all talk about the books you read?
    11. Read aloud books that have been made into movies and then watch the movie and do a comparison about which was better – the book or the movie. I had read the book “Coraline” to students of mine five years ago and now that the movie is coming out these students who are now teenagers are organizing themselves to meet at the movie theatre to watch it and compare – just like we did as a class with “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe”. Beautiful!

    Did you learn to love reading as a child? If so, what did the adults in your life do to encourage your passion for reading to grow?

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    Last Updated on February 25, 2020

    Face Adversity with a Smile

    Face Adversity with a Smile

    I told my friend Graham that I often cycle the two miles from my house to the town centre but unfortunately there is a big hill on the route. He replied, ‘You mean fortunately.’ He explained that I should be glad of the extra exercise that the hill provided.

    My attitude to the hill has now changed. I used to grumble as I approached it but now I tell myself the following. This hill will exercise my heart and lungs. It will help me to lose weight and get fit. It will mean that I live longer. This hill is my friend. Finally as I wend my way up the incline I console myself with the thought of all those silly people who pay money to go to a gym and sit on stationery exercise bicycles when I can get the same value for free. I have a smug smile of satisfaction as I reach the top of the hill.

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    Problems are there to be faced and overcome. We cannot achieve anything with an easy life. Helen Keller was the first deaf and blind person to gain a University degree. Her activism and writing proved inspirational. She wrote, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

    One of the main determinants of success in life is our attitude towards adversity. From time to time we all face hardships, problems, accidents, afflictions and difficulties. Some are of our making but many confront us through no fault of our own. Whilst we cannot choose the adversity we can choose our attitude towards it.

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    Douglas Bader was 21 when in 1931 he had both legs amputated following a flying accident. He was determined to fly again and went on to become one of the leading flying aces in the Battle of Britain with 22 aerial victories over the Germans. He was an inspiration to others during the war. He said, “Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t do this or that. That’s nonsense. Make up your mind, you’ll never use crutches or a stick, then have a go at everything. Go to school, join in all the games you can. Go anywhere you want to. But never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or impossible.”

    How can you change your attitude towards the adversity that you face? Try these steps:

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    1. Confront the problem. Do not avoid it.
    2. Deliberately take a positive attitude and write down some benefits or advantages of the situation.
    3. Visualise how you will feel when you overcome this obstacle.
    4. Develop an action plan for how to tackle it.
    5. Smile and get cracking.

    The biographies of great people are littered with examples of how they took these kinds of steps to overcome the difficulties they faced. The common thread is that they did not become defeatist or depressed. They chose their attitude. They opted to be positive. They took on the challenge. They won.

    Featured photo credit: Jamie Brown via unsplash.com

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