6 Reasons to Read Aloud to Your Child
As a parent and an author, the written word has always had a special meaning to me. I like to read and wanted to instill that desire in my kids from an early age. We read books every night. When they were little I read to them. As they grew, and learned how to read, they read to me.
We congregated on the couch, or on one of their beds, and read stories together. It was fun, crazy, and sometimes frustrating. There were times when schedules made group reading difficult, but individual sessions were managed most nights.
I’ve always thought reading to my children was the norm. That is until I read an article that revealed major differences based on wealth. Apparently wealthier parents do more reading to their children. Thus, their children have better understanding of words and word relationships.
In 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) began recommending that parents read aloud to their children from birth. Crucial aspects of brain development occur during the first three years of life, and reading aloud to your child during this time (and after) may help build their vocabulary and communication skills and more.
Since a child’s brain is in it’s most important development stage, reading from birth is crucial in developing cognitive development. Brain scans revealed that reading to children increases activity in areas of the brain associated with visual imagery and understanding the meaning of language.
We now know that children who are read to:
- usually require less formal teaching of reading skills
- Often learn to read before starting school
- Become more confident and capable readers
- Enjoy reading as recreation
- Do better in school
2. Reading to infants and toddlers creates a stronger bonding experience.
Children love to snuggle and cuddle. Reading allows them to receive that desired comfort while experiencing the other benefits associated with listening to you reading aloud.
3. Reading aloud exposes your children to languages that they most likely
don’t normally hear.
Poems, nursery rhymes, and short stories are often written in pros that differ from how we talk in our normal lives and interactions. Children exposed to these words, phrases, and themes develop a broader understanding of language
4. Reading aloud helps children develop phonological awareness, which is the correlation between the sounds of words and their meanings.
By reading, talking, and conversing with your children you help them develop not only the meaning of words, but the sound relationships that words can have. Nursery rhymes often play on these sounds thus encouraging further sound/meaning development and understanding.
5. Reading helps your child increase concentration span.
Starting from an early age, reading captures the child’s attention. As the stories increase in length, that child’s attention span increases. S/he wants to know what happens next. It’s a logical progression thus increases attention span, desire to learn, and concentration.
6. Reading to your child helps develop social skills.
Technology has changed and possibly eliminated play time from our children’s lives. Social skills thus are not nurtured as they would. Reading aloud or giving a child a book to read encourages interaction. Language skills, broader understanding of the world around them, and greater concentration scans allow for better social interaction.
The take away is that reading to our children is fundamental to their growth, concentration span, language development, success in school and success in life.
Do you read to your children? Have you noticed a difference between your children and others whose parents don’t read to them? Is your child excelling in school?
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