Carissa: What do you call a sleeping cow?
Me: Sapi ngantuk
Carissa: Wrong! It’s called bulldozer! Bull … dozer…. Get it?
Me: Ih, garing banget sih kak? Tau dari mana lagi?
Carissa: I know it because I read it! See?
Iggy: Mami, do you know what is the biggest dinosaurs?
Me: I think all dinosaur are big (mamak yg nyebelin memang :D)
Iggy: yessss, but it is the biggest!
Me: (asal jawab)
Iggy: Wrooooonggg! It’s giganotosaurus, see? It’s said on my book. Giganotosaurus was the biggest dinosaur!
What do you give your children as gifts? I give them books. As birthday gift, as Christmas gift, as “oleh-oleh”, as good marks gift, as entertainment when they’re sick, as souvenir on our visit to Borobudur or just because simply I found a book that I think they’ll enjoy. Yes, I gave them toys also, but books are the most common things I gave them.
The books they own are not limited to story books, but also non-fiction books. They have Disney story books along with dinosaurs or space-related books. Do they read it? Yes, they enjoy exploring all of those books.
There so many advantages that your children can gain from their reading habit, such as:
- By reading, they think more and become smarter.
- Books provide information that goes deeper than just classroom discussion.
- Improve their vocabulary. Do your children have to speak bilingual? Do you have difficulty to teach them the second or third language since you barely speak the language? I do. So when they still struggling learn English, I gave them English books. Now, since they can talk and read English quite well and I don’t want they forget their own language, I give them Indonesian books.
- Improve their concentration and focus. Books tell the whole story. Since you must concentrate in order to read, like a muscle, you will get better at concentration.
- Improve their memory. Reading requires remembering details, facts and figures and in literature, plot lines, themes and characters.
- Improve their discipline. In my cases, since my children love to read, reading is a sweet treat for them. I can easily ask them choruses and let them read afterwards.
- Learn anywhere. Books are portable. The children can take them almost anywhere. For you who have met my Carissa, will know that she even bring her Harry Potter book to FD Gathering :D
- Improve creativity. By reading more books and exposing your children to new and more complete information, they will also be able to come up with more creative ideas.
How can you start their reading habit? You can start by reading picture books to your child every night. Trace the text with your finger, which will help your child learn that text flows from right to left. If you’re reading books with repetitive texts, encourage your child to read along with you.
Some ideas that help you to get started:
- Choose several topics. Believe me, you don’t have to choose super heroes for boys and Princess for girls. My boy read Cinderella and my daughter read Benten. Also keep it balance between fiction and non-fiction. They always enjoy learning facts.
- Budget. Some books will be more expensive than the others. So choose wisely. Or even, as a DIY project, you and your children can create a book together. Just explore the topics on internet, print in colors, bind them. There… you have your book!
- Do it together. Do as ritual that you and your children will sit together with a book on everybody’s hands. Please note, your children should be relaxed when starting to read. Usually my children have their books after school or after diner. They wash their body first then relaxing with a book.
- Take turns. If your children can read, take turn with them. They can improve their reading ability very fast by reading to you and their siblings.
- If your kids learn Bahasa Indonesia along with English, better start learning to read in Bahasa Indonesia. When they can read longer words such as “mempertanggungjawabkan”, they’re ready to read in English.
Happy reading mom :)
This story is sent by Mamita. Thank you!