Perhaps you’ve heard that reading aloud is the single most important thing you, as a parent, can do to help your child prepare for reading and learning. Is this true? Does 15 minutes of daily reading really benefit your child in the long run? Yes, it absolutely does! You can help your child be successful in school and beyond by reading to him or her at a very early age. Below are the top reasons why reading aloud to will put your child on the path to achievement.
Improves Language Skills
Reading every day with your child, starting in infancy, can help with language acquisition and literacy skills. Reading to your child from a young age stimulates the part of the brain that allows them to understand the meaning of language. Reading aloud improves a child’s vocabulary and builds important literacy and social skills. Reading aloud also introduces your child to the language of books, which is different from language used in everyday life. Stories often have more descriptive language than children hear in conversation. Stories also employ more formal grammatical structures than language heard in daily life.
Prepares Children for Academic Success
Studies show that students who are exposed to reading before preschool are more likely to succeed when they start school. When children begin school, they are introduced to reading skills such as phonemic awareness, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. Reading aloud jumpstarts the learning process by exposing children to these skills before they start school. Simply stated, the more words children know, the more prepared they will be to read, and the more they read, the better the chance they’ll graduate high school.
Creates a Special Bond with Your Child
Is there anything better than sharing a good book with your child? One of the most important things you can do to positively influence your child’s development is to spend time with them. Reading aloud provides that opportunity. Regularly scheduled read-aloud times provide your child with a bonding experience to look forward to. Reading to your child also provides a sense of well-being and a sense of being loved. This encourages positive growth and development.
Improves Imagination and Creativity
Children have wonderful imaginations, and reading allows their imaginations to bloom. Stories introduce children to fantastical worlds, events, and characters. In a story, everything is possible. Reading aloud will strengthen your child’s ability to imagine and dream.
Cultivates a Lifelong Love of Reading
According to Jim Trelease, the author of The Read-Aloud Handbook, “Every time we read to a child, we’re sending a ‘pleasure’ message to the child’s brain . . . You could even call it a commercial, conditioning the child to associate books and print with pleasure.” Reading to your child demonstrates that reading is important, fun, and valued. Children who love reading and books often become lifelong readers and learners!