Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting - Aldous Huxley
It simply means attainment of language, sharing of information, communicating, and comprehending it the right way. It is an individual activity, and has to be done on your own for better comprehension. Literacy, in the true sense, is the ability to absorb the content that has been read. Such is the importance of reading in one's life. With the invasion of technology, today, it's more of electronic display, in the form of computers, tablets, television, mobile phones or eReaders that have been a part of people's lifestyles. But thankfully, technology hasn't yet taken over the traditional method of learning through books. It's important to imbibe in children at a relatively tender age the fruits of embracing books. Now, if you find it boring, difficult, or simply tough to channelize and motivate your kids, here are a few tips.
To start with, one must know the language relatively well. Phonics are very important, as they help you connect with the sounds of every letter or group of letters, hence, clubbing them together to produce the correct pronunciation of the unknown words. The instruction begins with phonics, and kids learn to read simple text even before they complete the phonological knowledge. Composition of sentences, phrases, pronunciation of words, spelling and punctuation follows the phonological study. Prefixes, suffixes, compound words, and other parts of speech come in next. You need not master the language, but at least get the basic crux of the language to make it interesting. The comprehending part is the most tough, because you cannot expect anyone to comprehend certain things in the way you comprehend them. Some people, or kids for that matter, read for the heck of it without proper comprehension. At a very early age, if students are given suitable tips and instructions, it is helpful for them to monitor their comprehension. The last being summarizing, that is remembering what is read and being able to connect to the main ideas and central plan.
A top-down approach is essentially very basic and for beginners. In this approach, you are supposed to break down the task into sections and sub-sections. These sections and sub-sections should then be given greater focus and concentration. This aims at reducing the entire process to absolutely specific and basic elements. For example, a chapter is cut down into smaller chapters and then focused upon. One can then monitor his comprehension and is able to review content. It makes it easier to know where lies the difficulty and when does he actually lose interest, hence, making it easy to fix these problems. It also makes them think and search. Reading small portions and identifying with the main idea does not tax them, and kids may find it interesting and would want to involve themselves more in the process.
Visual Representation Strategy
Kids are more fascinated with pictures in a book, therefore, a book with many pictures encourages them. Most of us must have seen the movie 'Baby's Day Out'. I know you must be wondering how is it even relevant, but remember the baby identifies every place he visits in the movie because of the book his nanny has read to him. Research shows that we remember things better in the pictorial form than data form. So encourage beginners to read books with pictures to keep them interested and glued to it. We all must have experienced that the ones with Venn-diagrams, storyboards, chain of events or distinction tables, make it further interesting and easy. To begin with, this idea is really good, and eventually, one can resort to heavy database books to improve vocabulary, fluency, and take up reading as a habit and not compulsion.
The Keeping it Incomplete Way
This strategy comes in with a lot of personal experience. As a kid, my father read out umpteen number of books to me every night, but he did something which I absolutely hated. He would bring me to the end of the story and put me to sleep, not completing it all. That increased my curiosity, and so the next evening I completed it myself. He did it every single day. Unknowingly, I developed a liking for reading, and when I grew a little older, I found myself reading the entire story all by myself and discussing it with my father. Now it has become the way of life. Kids are very curious and visualize when you speak to them. When you end abruptly, they are not happy. They want to know what happens next, and therefore, make an effort to find it all by themselves. So, all those mothers or teachers trying to teach kids to read, this strategy works (it sure did for me).
The teaching strategies for reading mentioned above not only encourage this skill, but will also help one to focus, monitor their comprehension, think actively, express views, and grasp effectively. To reduce the disabilities and improve fluency, joining a club is a fantastic idea too. You are bound to finish a book in the stipulated span of time, and get to express your views on a particular book. It is also interesting to get to know about the views of others and their interpretation about the book. Reading definitely increases your fluency in language, makes you more confident, and keeps you well-informed about the happenings.