You’ve heard time and time again that reading, especially from a young age, is beneficial.
But exactly why is it so valuable? What does it teach children, and why should we do it so often?
Well, my friends, the list is truly endless! But we’ll keep it to a few that stand out the most.
…opens the door to all other subjects and possibilities
When your child enters elementary school with a firm foundation in reading, they are able to comprehend other subjects more fully. Reading that complicated science book or math story problem becomes easier if he or she as a solid reading background.
In short, reading makes other facets of school more accessible. Reading is the fabulous foundation that all other subjects are based upon. In short: your child + reading = endless educational possibilities.
The more words that a child is exposed to, the better their vocabulary. And there’s no better way to do this than through reading aloud to your child
Dr. Susan Canizares, a children’s author and doctorate holder in language and literacy development, states that, “Word knowledge is among the most critical pieces of language development. Children who acquire a substantial vocabulary are often able to think more deeply, express themselves better, and learn new things more quickly.”
A side note for those who love extra credit: don’t be afraid to use “big words” with your child. They can learn these words when given context.
For example, if it’s time to get clean, you might naturally say, “It’s time to brush your teeth and take a bath.” Instead, try saying something to the effect of, “Brushing your teeth practices good hygiene! Afterwards, we’ll immerse your hair under the spout to rinse it out.”
…enhances communication skills
A larger vocabulary also lends itself to becoming a better conversationalist and more empathetic as a child grows. Reading exposes them to stories of different ethnicities, situations, and backgrounds–all of which can help activate sympathy and empathy towards others.
Reading aloud also models good communication skills not only through the parent, but by the dialogue they read in books. Strong communication skills can allow a child to better express themselves when they’re feeling a complicated emotion.
…is a medium through which a child learns about the world
Sure, reading exposes them to vocabulary and enriches communication, which are widely beneficial. But reading also exposes children to new cultures and traditions–especially through the use of story books!.
Reading about ideas, situations, and lifestyles that are outside of themselves gives them a better worldview–and a better worldview creates in them a more open mind and heart.
…exercises the brain
The brain is a muscle and gets stronger as it gets used! Reading is an excellent way to exercise your child’s brain.
What happens when the brain gets a workout? Cognitive development! Reading improves a child’s concentration, attention span, and imagination–all three of which aid in better and more receptive learning.
There’s nothing quite as wholesome than reading a book together as a family. Reading aloud is beneficial at every age–so if you find yourself being the mother of older kids, don’t let that stop you from having a good old-fashioned read aloud. Of course, just be sure you switch it from Brown Bear, Brown Bear to The Lightning Thief.
Do your older kids feel too cool for school? That’s okay, too. Suggest reading the same book as a family separately, then have a fun conversation about the book together at the dinner table.
Reading to your child is an act of love; it gives them invaluable educational benefits and life experiences in a way not much else can. And what an incredible opportunity that you, as a parent, are on the front lines.
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