If you’re a parent, you know the heartwarming feeling reading to your child brings. The smile that comes across their face when you use sounds and different voice expressions to make it more fun is very rewarding.
You can encourage your child to have an interest in reading at an early age. One way to do that is by reading to them as often as you can.
The first five years of a child’s life is very important in their development, and introducing books at at early age will help them to grow academically. Brain growth is at it’s highest between birth and five years old.
So, you see reading does make a difference in the development of your child. Even if you think your newborn does not understand anything you are saying, you are actually helping their young mind to grow.
Why is reading important?
Have you ever heard the quote “Reading Is Fundamental,” by Nelson Mandela? What does that mean exactly? Well, reading is basically the foundation in terms of learning. It is the building block, or the foundation needed to have a solid education.
When children read they are not only learning different words, but they are learning sounds. Imagination and creativity are an important part of a child’s growth. These two skills are just two of many skills that are developed when they read.
When children learn to read at a young age they are learning to listen. Reading also teaches children about the world around them. For example, reading books about nature or animals teaches them to have a love and respect for other living things. Reading books about manners teaches them the importance of respecting others.
What does reading do for your child?
- Builds Confidence– When children learn how to read they start becoming confident in who they are and their abilities.
- Increases Vocabulary– Reading builds their vocabulary because they are introduced to new words they will need to know the meaning of to be able to understand the text.
- Improves Concentration– Young children have a hard time sitting still and paying attention. Reading requires you to sit still and focus on what you are reading. This can be difficult for children, and reading can help with that.
Ways to encourage your child as a parent
Encouraging children to read can be a difficult task. Children are given Ipads at such a young age now which can be a distraction to them. Try giving them a book first before giving them that Ipad to play on. So what can you do as a parent to encourage your child to read?
Develop their oral language. How do you do that? Well depending on the language skill of your child, you can either read to them or give them an age appropriate book to read.
Make it fun. After reading to them, have some fun by asking them questions about the story. Ask them what they thought about the story, or ask them to tell you something they heard in the story they liked. You can also ask them to show you a favorite picture from the story.
Set a time. Set aside a reading time with them where you sit down the same time everyday to read. Have them pick out a couple of their favorite books either for you to read or books they can read to you. Some younger children may like audio books to keep their attention.
Take turns. When reading with your child, take turns reading. Let your child read first and then you read after them. Do this until you finish the book. This is called Buddy reading.
When you share the reading with your child, you can help them when they start to struggle with saying different words. Knowing you are there to help them will increase their confidence level.
Remember what is important
It is important to remember that if you want your child to want to read, it should be enjoyable for them. Have fun with them while encouraging them every step of the way. Try not to spend too much time reading so your child does not get distracted and bored.
For young children who are kindergarten age, try to make it no longer than twenty minutes. If you have an older child, then 30 minutes is a good amount of time to keep their attention. Reading can be a fun and exciting adventure for your little one if they have the right book! Let me know if this helps. What have you tried to encourage your child? Comment below.