Sunday, 29 September 2013


Developing 'book interest' in a reluctant reader, is probably not as easy as developing the habit from the onset of a child's development but the good news is that-IT CAN BE DONE!Some of the tips mentioned in the previous article(PRACTICAL TIPS ON HOW TO GET YOUR CHILD INTERESTED IN BOOKS) would also be helpful in this situation. Undoubtedly, your involvement and consistence on this matter is vital.

Reluctance to read often comes when a child:

1)Has difficulty reading and therefore finds the process quite challenging 

2)Simply has no interest and therefore finds reading/storytelling quite boring

If your child's situation is case 1, then you will need to engage their teacher on guidelines on how to help your child address the areas that he/she is finding difficulty in. It could be they did not master some skills necessary for reading, earlier on in their development. It would then just be a matter of revisiting these areas, under the guidance of a professional.

If your child's situation is case 1, the following suggestions might be helpful:

1) Find out what interests your child (i.e. favourite toys/TV characters/sport or activity). Look for books along these areas of interest and be involved in the reading experience. As the interest kicks in, you can move on to other topics. Let these books be readily accessible to them (i.e.
 on the bedside table, in the car, in their school bag...somewhere where they can easily see them and leisurely page through them)

2) Involve them in the selection process whenever you shop for books or borrow books from the library. You may not be keen on the subjects that attract them, or you may think the book is below or above their level...but if they are really keen on it...then indulge them-and help them where necessary, in the reading of the book. What you want, primarily, is to build interest.

3) Make the reading experience enjoyable and fun! If they can read for themselves, give them sizable targets to reach(ie 10 pages a day) after which they can give you feedback on what they have read, either in writing or verbally. What did they enjoy in the story? Who's their favourite character? What didn't they like?
Likewise, if your child isn't reading for themselves yet, YOU make the story time interesting, fun and interactive. If you need to prepare or practice a bit before story time, do so! It will help to build your child's enthusiasm for story time and consequently- books!

4) LISTEN to your child's stories, whenever they are in a storytelling mood. Storytelling goes hand in hand with reading. As they develop the art of storytelling, they are developing their imagination and creativity. Probe deeper, ask questions, give suggestions to help build the story. You will find that as they become more enthusiastic about telling stories, their enthusiasm for reading or listening to stories will also increase

5) Reward, celebrate and applaud PROGRESS(minor and major)! It could be just a thoughtful observation made or question asked during story time OR remembering the name of  a character during question time OR managing to read the stipulated number pages for the day OR even just flipping through a book on the ride back home from school! An encouraged child is a motivated child. The more motivated they are, the more likely they'll want to keep impressing you...THE BIGGER THEIR APPETITE FOR BOOKS WILL GROW!

If you are facing challenges in this area with your child, what do you think you could apply from what we have discussed that might help your child? If you have found a way around this issue, what methods have you employed to grow your child's appetite for books? What do YOU think might be the reason for your child's lack of interest in books? 

Tuesday, 24 September 2013


Getting our kids to develop an 'interest' and eventually 'a love' for books is really not a mammoth task. Human beings are creatures of habit and this is even more so true for kids because they are still at a very adaptable and pliable age. The biggest thing required on our part is CONSISTENCY! If we can get that one right...then 75% of the job is done.

The following are a number of practical tips on how to go about this:

1) Have books in the home and let them be visible. Building a library simply entails buying one or two books regularly (ie.every 1-2months). They don't always have to be brand new too- there are secondhand bookshops and websites where one can get good books at a lovely price!

2) Develop a habit of having your children see YOU read. It doesn't have to be hectic reading. Could be  a magazine, your daily devotional, a newspaper, an ebook...any form of reading really. Our 15month old son often gets books from his sisters collection and likes to page through them. We don't even worry about him tearing the pages anymore because he just doesn't. He's growing up in a household where reading is common place and he also often sits in(for a few minutes at least) on the bedtime stories I share with his sister. So, without even being intentional about building his love for books, his interest is already growing through simple exposure

3)Regularly  make time to read to/with your child. Let it be fun, engaging and even interactive! Kids love it when you actively involve them in the story time

4) Invest in books that 'liven up' the reading experience. There are plenty of amazing books nowadays-books with sounds, flap books, pop-up books, books with magnetic pieces or figurines that can be stuck on and off, books with 3D features...plenty of interesting stuff. These, however, would probably be more suitable for a younger age group(ie1-4 years) or an older child who is still new to the world of they stimulate a lot of interest! But, as the kids get older and the 'love' has set in, there is really no longer a need for books with 'added features'

These are just a handful of tips that you may find useful if you are still new to this game of getting your child to love books. It's also good to know that it is really never too late to develop a love for books in your child. Consistency is undoubtedly a critical factor in this case, too but it CAN be achieved. We will discuss more on this matter later on this week!

So, Twinkldonians! What other ways can we engage in to stimulate and grow our kids' appetite for books? Does your child have a favourite book and why is it their favourite? Where are the books in your household kept? If you are in the habit of reading to your child, when is it most convenient for you to do so and how often do you do so?

Wednesday, 18 September 2013


 If anyone has ever watched a movie based on a novel-and read the novel itself, nine times out of ten, they will always say the story was told SO much better in the novel. The journey through a novel is always more elaborate and intricate-you glean more, learn more and grow more!

Whether it’s reading to learn more or just for enjoyment, if you can develop a reading culture in your child…”THE WORLD” can really become “THEIR OYSTER”

The benefits of developing an appetite for reading in your kids are priceless and include the following:

  • Reading stimulates and grows a person’s creativity and imagination because you are continually exposed to new worlds and concepts that expand your mental horizons
  • The ability to read with speed and a good grasp of content is an essential skill that can really be advantageous for your child’s academic development(primary through to tertiary- and beyond)
  • Reading ‘opens up’ a person’s mind, similarly to the way ‘travelling’ exposes a person. You learn to see life from different angles and have a more open-minded and less stereotyped approach to life
  • Books enable you to explain difficult subject matters to your child. My six year old daughter has books with titles like ‘where did grandpa go’ and ‘where do babies come from’. These books have helped me to explain death and the coming of a new family member- in  a way she understands and that is relevant for her age
  • Reading provides a great and productive option of utilizing one’s time! A great way to cut down on time spent glued in front of a TV or playing video games.

Ever heard it said, ‘If you want to hide something from an African, put it in a book?’ Whilst that may no longer be quite-the-case nowadays, there is still a lot of room for improvement! People who have who achieved significance and success in life like Nelson Mandela, Bill Gates, Strive Masiyiwa, Ben Carson and Chimamanda Adichie Ngozi-all seem to share a common thread. They are either avid readers, or allude their success and growth to stuff they have learnt through reading!

So, granted, your child may not become the next Obama or Mary Robinson, but if you can cultivate within them the habit of reading and a love for books…you are undoubtedly setting them up for success and significance along their path of life!

What others benefits of reading can you share with us? If you are a reader, what do you enjoy about reading? If you have watched a movie based on a novel recently and also read the novel, what differences have you noticed? If you have already developed a love for books in your child, what benefits have you noticed? TALK TO US!