A book is a device to ignite the imagination. -Alan Bennett.
Every child in early years should develop the habit of reading and listening in order to understand the word, sound, speech and the pronunciation of each word. Listening to stories will enhance imagination abilities and thinking skills.
In order to develop good reading skills a child should first develop good listening skills. This can be achieved when a child explores stories in an interactive ways like: Stop before turning the next page and ask what you think will happen next, ask your child to predict how story will end, etc. These kinds of questions will create interest in him/ her to listen as well as enjoy the story time.
In early year classes we have “Reading Corner” where age appropriate selected books are provided to the students and it is important that all the books are easily accessible to the students, which excites them to select and read the book of their choice.
In school, teachers create an environment where they act out the book and provide an opportunity for the children to touch and feel the books, it is very important for a child to experience the touching and feeling texture of different books. There are different varieties of books which have pop-up pages, colourful images, folded maps, etc. All these things will create interest in the child to read the story books. Our School have also introduced DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) time for everyone in the school where whole school has a set time in the school day where children read to themselves or teacher will read aloud story for students and they can choose any book from a wide variety of books. DEAR time is important because at early years many times students learn from each other and in a class or in a team when we all sit and read together it creates different effect on a child, slowly and gradually the child develops interest in reading books.
Not only teachers but also parents should spend some quality of time with their child in have a story read to them, sharing bed time stories with them and after finishing the story parent can ask who is your favourite character, etc. This will encourage child’s interest in reading and love for books. Children love to spend time with their parent and sharing book together is great fun where not only a child learns the language but also grow good bounding with parent.
The child’s brain will develops rapidly in early year’s stage, so it is very crucial for teachers and parents to guide them in a proper channel and imbibe reading and listening qualities from young age so that our children will experience books and understand the importance of it and start enjoying this process in later life.