As a parent, how do you create a home environment that encourages learning?
Here is an excerpt from the blog post, “On Reading and Parenting” by Zarah C. Gagatiga for her presentation at the 2017 LibTalk Conference.
Here are my five tips to promote genuine love for books and reading at home:
1. Listen to your child.
Hold your own truth lightly in your hands and focus on what your child is saying. You will understand him or her better when you put aside yourself, your own dreams for them, and what you wish them to be. Your child is yours to take care of and love, but they belong to the world.
2. Talk to them as often as possible.
Keep the lines of communication open at all times.
3. Allow them to ask questions.
Accommodate even the tough questions that you have no answer for. Discover these issues and questions your child has. Avoid put-downs, labels, and blocks to their thought processes. Learn from them too. One of the graces I discovered in being a parent is that I grow and learn from my children.
4. Develop a family reading time, model the reading habit and manage the use of technological gadgets.
I think this would require another session together since technology is another variable we have to understand. The important thing is that your children can see you reading a book, food labels, social media pages, mobile phone messages, billboards, TV ads, teleradio announcements, etc.
If you can teach your child how to read different media formats, well and good. If not, leave it to the formal instruction of teachers. Cooperate and collaborate with them. Teachers are your allies.
5. Invest on books.
And I mean the print book that children can touch, smell, turn the pages over and embrace. The print book has the physical landscape that enables the brain to remember more information. Memory plays an important role in learning.
A lot to do, yes!
But this is what parenting is all about. It will be all worth it. Trust the process. To quote Dr. Lee Chua, “genuine learning requires reflection, patience, and perseverance.” (Carandang, 2008)
About the author:
Zarah C. Gagatiga is a Teacher Librarian at the Beacon Academy, a published children’s book author in the Philippines, and teaches reading enrichment and intervention at the Center for Reading Assessment and Intervention, Inc. She runs her blog, www.lovealibrarian.blogspot.com.