10 Ways Nannies Can Foster a Love of Reading in Their Charges

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The cornerstone of a good education and strong academic performance is having strong reading and comprehension skills. Children who have learned to love reading may be able to grasp other basic skills earlier and with less trouble than those who have not. In the interest of creating a generation of high academic achievers, here are 10 tips for nannies that can help them cultivate a love of reading in their charges.

  1. Read As Much As Possible — Reading to your younger charges and with your oldest ones is the single most effective way to help children acquire an early and strong love for books. Re-read favorites when small charges ask, find new books that illustrate concepts you’re trying to teach, and keep kids’ literary diet diverse.
  2. Read Enthusiastically — Reading aloud to your charges with dramatic voices, showy gestures and a general enthusiasm for the process helps keep kids engaged in the story and excited about what comes next; it also helps them to see reading as a fun and interactive adventure, rather than a dull and tedious chore.
  3. Establish a Reading Routine — Kids who associate reading with the affection they get before bedtime or the undivided attention of their nanny at mid-morning will begin to look forward to these story times. As the anticipation of attention and affection grows, so will their love for the books themselves.
  4. Encourage Discussion — When your charges are encouraged to talk about how a book makes them feel and what they noticed about the story, they’re engaging in an equal dialogue with you and feel accepted as more of an individual with their own ideas. Satisfying this need for independence and recognition by listening to what the children you care for have to say about their favorite books is likely to send them scrambling on a quest for another new book to discuss.
  5. Ask Questions As You Go Along — Reading to younger children can be a challenge, as their short attention spans are often directly opposed to sitting still and being quiet while their nanny reads to them. By asking your charges questions about the plot and illustrations as you go along, you can gently direct attention that may be wandering back to the task at hand.
  6. Don’t Make Reading a Chore — Forcing older kids to read a certain number of pages each day or to spend a certain amount of their time reading when they absolutely do not want to will not help them learn to read; it will actually help them learn to despise it.
  7. Take Day Trips to the Library — Making a trip to the library as exciting an outing as a visit to the zoo is a matter of presentation and enthusiasm on your part. When picking out a new book is the highlight of a week, that book becomes a treasure to be savored.
  8. Use Books to Coach Kids Through Milestones – For virtually every situation and milestone that most children will encounter, there is a children’s book written specifically to help them make sense of it. Using books to help during potty training, with the first day of school, and to deal with bullies’ trains kids to see books as the source of information and entertainment that they are; as questions continue to arise, they’ll continue to turn to books for the answers.
  9. Be Patient – When kids are learning to read on their own, the process can be a difficult one. Nannies and caregivers that aren’t patient with little readers can easily leave them discouraged and reluctant to continue the process. Being scolded or degraded for their difficulties also makes reading seem like an unpleasant task, further damaging any budding affection for the process.
  10. Take Advantage of Community Resources – Local libraries and children’s centers often offer story hours and other reading programs directed at kids of all ages and reading levels. These programs are among the most valuable resources at a caregiver or parent’s disposal regarding children and their blossoming love or reading.

Kids are also more likely to be excited about books that they’ve picked out themselves, so allowing children past toddlerhood to choose their own books can help them to look forward to reading them, with or without your assistance.

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One Response to 10 Ways Nannies Can Foster a Love of Reading in Their Charges

  1. Jackie says:

    Thanks for sharing such good tips. I believe reading is so important at every age. Reading aloud is even important at the high school level.

    One of our favorite sights is HomeschoolLiterature dot com. They have reviews of books by and for homeschoolers. They even have an online book club.

    Merry Christmas,

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