SELF HELP RESOURCE - Parenting / School Age


Reading increases vocabulary and improves comprehension. Books are a source of information, stimulation and imagination. As opposed to TV and video games which are fast moving, books help children learn to focus and sustain attention. Besides, a child who knows the pleasure of curling up with a good book will not often be bored. Parents also find that as they regularly read together, they develop a special bond with their child.

What You Can Do

Start Early

  • Read aloud to your child on a daily basis starting even before his first birthday.
  • During the early years, spend just a few minutes at a time reading and stop as soon as she appears bored. As your children grow older, increase the length of read-aloud period.
  • Establish a regular "story time", perhaps before naps or at bedtime.
  • Make story time enjoyable. Keep your child on your lap or beside you. Be prepared to read and reread his favourite story. (Hint: pick books that you can enjoy too!)
  • Choose colourful, attractive and picturesque books with good language. If the language is difficult for your child to understand, simplify it as you need.
  • Stop and talk about pictures, helps children to connect what they are hearing and what they are seeing.

Read Along With Your Child
Choose easy books with a lot of repetition and rhyme. When your child is able to read these easy books. You can gradually choose ones with more complex language.

Read Yourself
Let your child see you reading - newspaper, magazines or books. Occasionally read out something interesting to your child from the paper or magazine. Let her see you using recipes or reading instructions for equipment so she sees it as a useful activity.

Word Games
Play word games with your child. Spend 5-10 minutes on these and remember to make it fun.

Remember you can keep increasing the complexity as the child grows.

Remember behaviours are learnt, so if you are watching the TV, the child would be watching too, if you are reading and spending time with books your child too would do that.

All this takes time and patience but the benefits are so great and long lasting that it is well worth the effort.

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