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School Holiday Programme December 2018

Monday, December 03, 2018



Use Comic Books to Encourage Your Child to Read


 HOW TO ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILDREN TO READ

Post Credit: British Council Malaysia It offers English Language courses for kids and teens from ages 5 to 17. Application is now open for January 2019 intake.



The saying is that reading is a life-long habit. As a parent you want to encourage your children to develop that habit, to become life-long readers. How do you do that? When should you start?

The easiest way to make reading a habit is to build routines around it. In the past, each night after dinner, many families would read the newspaper together. Mom and dad read the news and the children read the comics page. Eventually the children progressed onto reading sports, entertainment, the news and full books. But in the modern era, most people don’t get newspapers delivered to their houses every day, so we need to adapt this strategy.

COMIC BOOKS ARE A GOOD ENTRY POINT FOR READING

Comic books are a good entry point for reading. A child as young as seven can find comic books suitable for them. There are many comic books based on TV shows and movies. Chances are your child has seen and likes a character that also appears in a comic book. So use that to encourage reading.

A weekly trip to a book store to buy a comic becomes a fun routine (never use it as a reward or punishment, just a constant routine). Reading the comic becomes a habit, one that the child looks forward to doing. You can also look over the comic and ask your child what happens in the story. See if they understand. This also lets you check that the comic is a good fit for your child.

If your child is a weaker reader, you can read the comic book with the child, helping with words, building confidence. Let your child do as much of the reading as they can. You only read when it gets too difficult.



FROM COMIC BOOKS TO PICTURE BOOKS TO NOVELS

The next step is moving your child from comic books to picture books then full novels. It’s easy to find a fitting ‘next step’ to help your child grow beyond comics. Many children find the Geronimo Stilton / Thea Stilton books a good second step, and there are over 100 books in that series. More advanced readers have loved the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. These can lead to Artemis Fowl, Percy Jackson and eventually Harry Potter: all good books that kids love.


If your child is developing as a reader, you can transfer your weekly book store trip from buying a comic book to buying one of these picture readers – always let your child pick the title. If your child resists buying a book and wants a comic, compromise – alternate between buying a book one week and buying a comic the next week. Or, if your child earns an allowance, let them save for a comic book while you buy a story book.

Some children will want to read comic books their whole life. As long as they aren’t only reading comics, this isn’t a bad thing. There are comic books written for all ages, and some mature comic books can deal with very serious ideas.


A BOOK ADAPTATION OF A FAVOURITE MOVIE IS A GOOD WAY TO GET CHILDREN INTERESTED IN BOOKS

You don’t want to stop a child from reading comics if that is their only preference for reading. A child might get bored of comics and change. You can encourage that by seeing which movies interest them and getting them to read the book adaptation of the movie. Star Wars books are very good for this, and the movie books often lead to many more books, guiding a reader into the habit of reading long stories for fun.

Just remember that someone who reads may change from one type of book (comics) to another (novels) but someone who has been discouraged from reading may never take up the habit again.


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