Reading development at early grade lays a strong education foundation for entire life of a child. Early reading practice improves comprehension and understanding ability of a child that results in later years’ education and brings prudent impact on studying core subjects such as science, mathematics and computer. Reading ability in early grades make children familiar to the world of imagination and creation which embark learner’s motivation and interest towards studying other subjects in the school.Thus children who mastered their early reading skills attain desirable learning outcomes in education.
Unfortunately, in Pakistan, there is lack of reading culture at home and in school that encourage young learners towards reading. Parents and children spend an ample proportion of their free time in watching T.V or playing games on mobiles and computers. It badly effects children study habits and detract them from reading. That is why the outcomes in children’s reading competency remainsalarming, especially at primary level. Studies of Pakistan Coalition for Education 2016, government primary schools data shows that 52% of children in class 5 can-not read a story and 56% cannot read a sentence in English.This deficiency results in low scores in children’ learning assessments that ultimately causes more dropouts at early grades.
Observations in schools reveal that several factors contribute towards this issues such as; traditional teaching approach, teachers’ lack of interest towards bringing change and improvement, inadequate facilities in school & home and lack of parents’support in improving reading skills in their children.Above all the most important aspect that put the greater impact on child’s learning is lack of parents’ interest and support at home.First lady Laura Bush states, “As parents, the most important thing we can do is read to our children early and often. Reading is the path to success in school and life. When children learn to love books, they learn to love learning.” – Considering this fact education experts and pedagogical leaders suggest parents’ active role and engagement in developing children reading habits at home.
First and foremost important thing to remember for parents of early age children is to be aware of the importance of reading in their child’s entire life as well as their role as parents in developing reading habits at home. Obviously, parents can help their young children in reading by creating discussion and by listening and reading to their children every day. Such kind of practices demonstrate that the parents give value to reading. Parents engaging in reading and enjoying in day to day lives consequently make children motivated towards reading.
Following are some ways and approaches parents can implement with their children in their early grades;
Name Labelling; Make small cards and write names of household things on the cards. Label the cards on things in different places in the home such as; in the kitchen, corridor and drawing room etc. Practice reading the word labels with your child and encourage him/her to read the words aloud. Change and replace different words time to time.
Reading with your child; Make daily reading routine at home. Read a story or children magazine. Involve your child in reading small words and sentences along you. Ask the child about the pictures in the story. Provide chance to child to read the story. Listen to your child while reading and discuss on the characters in the story. Ask small questions to probe and give ample time to think and response. Appreciate your child on his/her efforts in reading. Increase reading time and continue this practice regularly.
Daily story at bed time; Develop a routine storytelling time at home before going to bed. You can read a story or tell a story to your child on daily bases.
Reading corner at home; Arrange a reading corner for your children to study at home. Select a nice place with proper light and ventilation where there is no noise disturbance. Place a table and two/three chairs for your children to sit. Make a regular routine of reading and doing homework in that place. Your children will do their routine study in that place and they will feel ownership and encouragement towards study. Bring newspaper, children magazines, and children story books to home and enrich the reading corner with the time. Manage some time to spend with your child in reading corner. This will boost child’s motivation and confidence towards daily reading.
Study Timetable; Make a timetable for your child at home. Arrange one reading time daily in that time table along with study time for other subjects. This timetable will help you maintain your child’s daily reading practice at home.
Program Officer Education Policy & Advocacy –