To see your child curling up with a good book is such a joy. It signals the ability to experience the written word independently and the freedom to be lost in the imaginative world of a story.
Reading is not just an enjoyable activity for children, it yields many benefits too – building empathy, strengthening brain connections, reducing stress, just to name a few. So how can you help your child to develop a love for reading?
Here’s what June Sun, Director of the MindChamps Reading Programme at Raffles Town Club, recommends:
Start Them Young
“Ideally, parents should start cultivating the child’s interest in reading at the age of three,” says June.
“This is… when they learn to pick up things fast. Laying the foundation for good literacy skills at an early age helps them to love reading, comprehend the language, and gives them an edge in school.”
Empower Them to Choose Their Reading Material
One way to motivate little ones to read is to let them choose their own books. Children respond best when their learning experience is tailored to their needs and interests, and educators have found that when students are given a choice, they will want to read more.
Here’s a tip: help kids find one book in a series that they love. They will want to read all the titles in that series! By the time they have devoured all that material, their reading appetite would have been enlarged, and they will be out looking for more to read!
Make Reading a Daily Routine
June also advises parents to set aside a “reading time every day”. Young children thrive on having a routine, and incorporating reading into their daily schedule makes it a habit they will take into primary school and beyond.
Reading every day will also expose children to the flow and rhythm of the language, helping them to achieve fluency in it.
Read Age-Appropriate Books
“Attempting to read books that are non age-appropriate will discourage and frustrate the child,” says June.
A book that is just right should stretch the child enough to cause growth, but not be too challenging to the point of frustrating the child. One quick way to assess the suitability of a book is to turn to a random page and have the little one read it. If there are more than three words that are unfamiliar, the book may be too difficult at this stage.
Besides the words, the subject matter of a book is another factor you need to consider when it comes to age-appropriateness.
“Hence, at MindChamps, we’ve created more than 300 eBooks that are age-appropriately catered for children,” June says.
Sign Up for a Reading Programme
While you can do a lot to nurture your child’s interest in reading at home, there are some things that can only be achieved when you sign up for a reading programme at a reputed school such as MindChamps.
The MindChamps Reading Programme at Raffles Town Club has a structured programme to develop eight essential reading skills in children from three to six years old, which will give them an edge in primary school and beyond. These skills prepare the little ones for the MOE curriculum, and are taught by highly qualified trainers who have completed 100 hours of training for their accreditation.
The group-learning environment also makes attending classes a fun experience for children, as they motivate each other and pick up important knowledge through play, songs, craft, and other engaging activities.
Serene Seah, parent of MindChamps student Xavier Chua, has this to say about the programme: “Be it reading, speaking or writing, MindChamps Reading definitely helps him in a way which I can’t do by myself at home.”
MindChamps Reading Programme at Raffles Town Club
The MindChamps Reading Programme has been voted good and excellent by 98% of parents whose kids are enrolled in the programme. It not only imparts eight essential reading skills to help children excel in the MOE curriculum, but also instills confidence and higher order thinking. The eight skills are:
An engaged child develops a love for reading, which naturally progresses to writing.
2. Active Understanding
With this skill, a child can comprehend and interact with words actively, which supports analytical and higher order thinking.
3. Narrative Intelligence and Higher Order Thinking Skills
The MindChamps Reading Programme uses immersive reading and theatre strategies to nurture children’s logical thinking, sequential understanding, and the ability to ask the right questions.
4. Phonemic Awareness
By hearing the individual sounds that make up words in meaningful context, children become aware of words as individual entities.
MindChamps uses a combination of its revolutionary “Say and Sing Phonics” in-class programme and its interactive eBook collection, which costs more than $3.5 million to produce, to help children connect sounds and written symbols.
Children model themselves on good readers at the MindChamps Reading Programme and use rhyme, rhythm, repetition, and songs to understand the natural flow and rhythm of the language to become fluent in it.
With the vast amount of reading material in MindChamps’ Read-along Library, children can pick up new words as they learn through stories, rhymes, and alliteration.
8. Structural Awareness
Through frequent sharing of ideas and other learning opportunities provided by the MindChamps Reading Programme, children naturally develop an awareness of how words in a sentence fit together.
World-class Literacy Assessment
To determine which of MindChamps’ three reading programmes – Joey (beginner level), Panda (intermediate level), and Dolphin (advanced level) – is most suitable for a child, a literacy assessment will be performed prior to enrolment. The MindChamps Literacy Assessment is one of the world’s most comprehensive and accurate measures of a child’s reading and writing ability.
New Centre at an Accessible Location
Signing up for the MindChamps Reading Programme at Raffles Town Club brings many conveniences and benefits. The centre is one of MindChamps’ newest in central Singapore, with ample parking, many buses available at its doorstep, and the Stevens MRT Station just across the road.
MindChamps students are also allowed to use the swimming pool – with slides and water-spouting stone lions – at the club. Another draw on top of the fun children have at the reading lessons!
MindChamps Reading Programme at Raffles Town Club
To book a complimentary literacy assessment, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject header “RTC”. Leave your name (parent’s name), email address, mobile number, and quote “Little Day Out”.
For more information, please visit mrw.mindchamps.com.
This feature is brought to you by MindChamps Singapore.