When a parent reads to their child from a young age, it opens up a whole new world of learning opportunities – and not just in regards to literacy.
Reading promotes general academic excellence. Language is the basis of all forms of learning – without words and sentences, grasping the notions of other subjects like Maths, Science and History is near impossible. By encouraging reading as early as possible, your child will quickly gain a sense of the words and sentence structure and will put them in a position to learn new subjects faster and more easily.
Not to mention that reading enforces the fundamentals of writing. Seeing words on a page will vastly improve spelling and grammar, and inspires the young student to write on their own, both technically and creatively. Words are so important and vital to your child’s growth and development – so why not give them that bit of head start!
The act of reading before bedtime strengthens the bond between parent and child. It becomes more than just reading a book – it’s a fun, relaxing, nurturing activity that can be shared. If it’s a good book you’re reading as well, it might be something your child actually looks forward to! Encouraging this activity will put reading in a positive light in your kid’s eyes, and will increase the chance of them loving books and embracing the English language on their own terms.
It also encourages patience, persistence and enhanced concentration. In this tech-heavy world, new forms of learning and entertainment can be extremely fast-paced and overwhelming. Reading books is almost ‘old-school’ but it develops an appreciation and understanding of the joys of reading. By slowing down and taking in a book, your child will increase their ability to focus and calmly tackle any challenge that comes their way.
Reading, for me, is one of my greatest joys. My mother read me books and encouraged me to choose and read my own for as long as I can remember, and now it has turned into a lifelong passion for me. I always remember coming from school and reading whatever book I was working through at the time for at least half an hour – off my own back, mind you! And I know that this joy and skill of reading helped my other subjects immensely – I wouldn’t have been able to write a History essay or understand complex Psychology theories without it. My love for books eventually expanded to also include a passion for writing – something I hope happens to your children as well.
Read to your kids. Just, read. Titles from authors such as Dr. Seuss, Graeme Base, Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton are all wonderful and enjoyable, and will fire your child’s imagination for many years to come.
Lauren is the owner of MPT, a primary school teacher, tutor and Mum to a nearly 2 year old son.