As a parent, there are so many things to do that reading may not seem like a priority. But if you want to raise a reader and an avid book lover as a kid, then reading should be at the top of your list.
Reading to your child is one of the best ways to help them learn about language, words, and sentences. Not only does this help them become better readers, but it also helps with their listening skills.
However, reading to your child doesn't have to take much time. You can take 20 minutes a day to read to your child and you can do it anytime or anywhere — while you're waiting at an appointment, on the way home from work, or before bedtime.
Reading to your child is beneficial for the following reasons.
1. It helps with brain development.
Reading to your child is a great way to help them develop their brain. They learn new words and develop the ability to think critically from reading and absorbing different ideas. It also helps to improve their level of imagination and understanding.
2. It helps them love books.
This practice leads kids into a lifelong love of books as well as reading them independently outside school (or even inside the school).
In other words, if you start early with this habit, chances are good that your child will continue with it until adulthood without needing much encouragement from you.
3. It brings you closer to your child.
Reading to your child strengthens the parent-child bond. It is a time when you both can get lost in the story, and laugh at silly parts or cry when things don’t turn out well for the characters.
It's also a wonderful way to spend time with your child while teaching them important life lessons through stories.
4. It helps them learn new words and create a bigger vocabulary.
Reading to your child is an excellent way to help them learn new words and how they sound when spoken aloud, which can be very different from how they sound in our head!
They get to hear how words sound when they're used in sentences. This helps them develop their own vocabulary when speaking as well as writing at school later on in life!
However, when you read, try using different voices for each character. It is usually fun and engaging for kids. They also get to understand that words have meaning and that they're not just sounds. Rather, they represent people, places, or things.
5. When they're older, they'll read better and more often because they've been read to since they were little.
If you've been reading to your child since birth, he or she will most likely be able to read at an advanced level by the time he or she is old enough for school. This means that, instead of becoming lost when the teacher starts talking about reading aloud, he or she'll be prepared!
And let's be honest, it can be pretty frustrating when you try to read something out loud but get stuck on a word or two every few sentences.
That's why we preach the idea of reading to your child at an early age and helping them become good readers. Because they're used to hearing words in context, they won't panic when they have trouble understanding something new.
6. It helps teach them empathy.
One of the most important lessons that you can teach your child is empathy. Empathy is defined as the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand how they feel, which includes things like feeling sympathy or compassion for them, feeling sorrow or joy over their happiness or sadness, and attempting to help them when they need it.
The best way to teach a child about empathy is by example, and reading together is an excellent way to do this! Children who grow up listening to their parents read about other people’s experiences will develop an understanding of how other people feel.
When you read a sad story with your child (or even just look at a picture book), ask them questions about what they think happened next (and why). This will get them thinking critically about what happened in the story and how it affects those involved.
Even young children can start developing empathy after hearing stories like this!
When should you start reading to your child?
Experts have long emphasized the importance of reading to young children. A new study from Wake Forest University is the latest to show that reading to your kids is vitally important for their development.
The study found that kids whose parents read to them from an early age were better prepared for school — and the benefits lasted beyond kindergarten, with the children more likely to read on grade level in third grade.
The study is particularly compelling because it looked at a diverse range of families and tracked the children over time.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends reading aloud every day starting at birth. We say it's never too early to start reading books with your little one. As soon as babies are born, they begin learning about the world around them.
Reading aloud to your child is an important part of this process.
Don't worry if your child doesn't sit still the entire time you read to them. With time, they would grow to love it! Now, what are you waiting for? Grab a book and start reading to your child!
Do you have children in grades 3 to 12 who need to enhance their literacy skills? Then you should check out our writing workshop.