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Raising Readers In A Digital World: 5 Tips For Parents – Bushra Manna

Bushra Manna is one of the founders and Principal of Leaps and Bounds Education Centre – Motorcity. She has 20 years’ experience teaching the British and American curricula internationally at primary level – early middle school level, ages 4-12. Bushra believes in imparting deep learning to a child and not just rote learning, which is why she recommends the Magikats programme at her centre, to promote a genuine understanding with its multisensory, differentiated and interactive approach within a small group setting.


Motivating the young ones to read in this digital age can be quite a challenge. Most children these days have made their standard of entertainment digital. They have gaming consoles, tablet PCs and smartphones that allow them to do everything from watching movies, to playing games, and even consuming all types of content.

Due to this preference, it’s quite difficult for parents to connect with their children. When the kids start using techie jargon, moms and dads can only go, “What?”

Likewise, instilling the value of elaborate processes in the young ones to completely understand concepts or ideas proves to be difficult. Children would rather Google definitions or go on Wikipedia to learn plots, so they miss the small yet important details that are essential for complete understanding.

How Do You Raise Readers in this Digital World?

Getting your children to enjoy reading requires creativity, according to trusted English and maths tutors in Dubai. You can’t just order them to do so because it’s important. It’s imperative to make the activity as appealing as possible.

Here are five tips to help you with this endeavor – but first, get the kids to “unplug.”


1.     Inquire about their interests and purchase books that discuss these interests.

This is a no-brainer, but a lot of parents have the tendency to buy books that they want their children to read and not what their children want to read. Ask them what subjects or topics they’re fascinated with and do research online about the books that provide engaging information about those.

2.     Have a book and movie comparison activity.

This is one of those activities that can really cultivate a love for reading. Purchase books that have been turned into movies, such as the Harry Potter series, The Chronicles of Narnia, Hunger Games, Percy Jackson and many others. Ask the young ones to read any of these books and then find the film counterpart for the family movie night.

Have them identify the differences between the book and the film. If your kids have an appreciation for a good story, they’re more likely to gravitate toward the book version than the film because movies rarely capture the entire essence of a story from a book.

3.     Stage an outdoor read-in.

Use downtime from playing for reading. Gather all the kids in the shaded part of the garden or park and set out a picnic blanket, different snacks, and a bag of library books. Assign someone to read a book out loud.

Not only will the little ones enjoy the story time, they also will appreciate the fun yet relaxed camp-like feel of the reading time. This activity is a pleasant memory-maker for children.

4.     Create reading challenges.

Reading challenges are perfect for really young kids who are still learning how to read. The challenges will develop not only their comprehension but also their ability to pronounce words clearly. Likewise, they will learn that reading is a great escape because it’s something they can entertain themselves with wherever they may be.

Some zany reading challenges to try are reading in the coat closet with a flashlight, reading to the dog, reading to grandma, and changing the ending of the story.

5.     Grant Book Rewards

Assign a reward for the number of books read, or for certain books read. Think carefully about the rewards and make sure that they truly are valuable to the children. The young ones will start reading with the reward in mind, but you can bet that over time, they will come to love reading as an activity. They will read even if there’s no reward for it.

The best rewards for this program are the experiences. Ideal “experience” rewards can include a trip to the movies with a couple of their friends, a day at the museum, or even signing them up for  children’s language classes if they’re really interested in learning a new language and culture.

Your children may not give up their digital gadgets completely, but their extreme reliance on these may be significantly reduced once you implement these tips and nurture a love for reading and learning.

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