5 AMAZING BENEFITS OF READING TO YOUR CHILD
Recently we attended a “workshop” at our son’s school hosted by Raising Readers SA.
Marian’s presentation on the importance of reading to and with our children was reaffirming.
Often, I know I’m guilty of it, I tend to take reading off the list of things to do with our son daily.
Kids today are so well versed in the use of screens via TV or Phone or Tablet that it just is easier to have them play on the phone or watch a cartoon.
However, reading will always be around.
No matter where life takes them, at some point they will have to read something or other.
Toddlers and pre-schoolers who are read to every day(or at a minimum 3 days a week) have many advantages and benefits. Reading improves a child’s vocabulary and helps them understand how to read and write. When parents interact with their children by reading aloud to them, it assists the kids to understand different topics about the world and everyday life.
I can’t stress enough the importance of including reading in your daily routine with your young children and how we as parents need to prioritize reading to them. This said it’s just as important to be reading to them age-appropriate books and remember to not take the role of the teacher at home. Your role is to encourage your kids to enjoy reading, make it a fun part of your daily routine with them, do not try and teach them how to read. Leave that to the teacher at school that you pay a fortune to.
AMAZING ADVANTAGES OF READING TO YOUR CHILD:
- Language Development – before you begin reading to your kids, the vocabulary they use is limited to the extent of the language you as the parents use. Exposing them to new vocabulary they hear new words and phrases not necessarily used on a daily bases around them. The more words kids know the better it is for them. Reading is great to help children’s language skills and improve their fluency in instances where they are able to speak more than one language.
- Improves Concentration – our son’s concentration span at times seems extremely limited to me. We will have just started a game or baking for example, and literally 2 minutes into it he gets distracted by a spider on the wall and wants to investigate. Although it is great that he wants to explore the world around him, we haven’t finished what we were doing. However, when we reading to him I’ve noticed that he will sit still and listen until we’ve finished reading. Daily reading to your kids helps them learn to concentrate and stay still for longer periods.
- Develops Imagination – the best part about reading with kids is that it encourages them to develop their imagination. We experience this first hand with our son, especially when we read books on subjects he really enjoys such as stories that include dinosaurs or aeroplanes. He seems to imagine himself in the storyline, reenacting part of the story days after having read it.
- Develops Empathy – as their imagination develops, and their immerse themselves into storylines of the books we as parents read to them at some point they will identify with a particular character in the book. They will begin to experience the feelings that the character is feeling and as this occurs they begin to understand and relate to emotions.
- Improves Quality Time – our lives today are so fast, that many of us spend so little quality time with our children. I love reading time with our son, and I find that he loves it too. He gets to select the book, yes I know at times it’s the same freaking story for weeks on end. You will find that during this time you the parent will relax and you will both enjoy each others company as you cuddle, hug and giggle about the story. Reading time does wonders to solidify the bond between you and your child.
Start reading to your child from as early as possible … yes even before they can crawl… reading to them all the way until they are in Grade 6 or 11 years old, just before they begin high school.
RANDOM FACTS ABOUT READING
- If a child reads for 20 minutes every day, they are exposed to about 1.8 million words of text every year. That is 137 new words per minute!
- If families read together for 20 minutes a day, 7 days a week, they get more than 121 hours of bonding time every year!
- For every year you read with your child, average lifetime earnings increase by $50,000. You make a $250,000 gift to your child from birth to age 5 by reading aloud, just 20 minutes a day!
- Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are 3–4 times more likely to drop out in later years.
- Reading to your child in an interactive style can raise a child’s IQ by 6 points.
An amazing place to begin looking for age-appropriate books is PanMacMillan . They host a wonderful array of titles that are sure to get both you the parent and your child glued to the stories.