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THE VALUE OF READING TO YOUNG CHILDREN
By Diane Atkinson, Temple Israel Preschool
Parents- regardless of differences in language, race religion, socio-economic status or political beliefs, all want to provide their children with the best possible educations and ensure they have the tools needed to succeed. One way to get a head start on this is to instill a love of reading in your child. It’s never too early to begin reading to a young child-the benefits that he or she gains from this experience are life-long. Parents are their child’s first and most important teachers, and have the opportunity and ability to provide the groundwork for success in their child’s future. A few of the many benefits of reading to your young child are:
- The more young children are read to, the greater their interest in becoming better readers. Reading out loud exposes children to proper grammar and phrasing. It enhances the development of their spoken language skills, their ability to express themselves verbally.
- By reading to your child you are modeling behaviors-holding the book correctly, page orientation, language cadence, and experiencing pure joy in a great book.
- Reading with your child will produce a stronger relationship with him/her. This bonding time will allow for the child to associate reading with love, as you take time out of your busy schedule to snuggle down with a good story. This sends the message to your child that they are important and is a simple way to mutually enjoy quality communication time.
- Taking children on adventures and allowing them to experience life beyond the home is another benefit of reading to young children. They can live vicariously through characters and participate in a fantasy world, solve mysteries or travel to faraway places. Stories and books that have been carefully chosen by parents can influence children in ways that simply being told something doesn’t. Books can teach children necessary communication skills and how to be a good friend, cooperate and problem solve. Through books children can learn a love of animals, how to care about the environment or that they really think dinosaurs are awesome!
So what can you take to instill a love of reading in your child? One of the basic and most common sense answers would be to just read anything they may be interested in. The U.S. Department of Education states that if you read to your child from infancy until age five for:
- 30 Minutes Daily - You will have read to your child for 900 hours!
- 30 Minutes Weekly - You will have read to your child for 130 hours!
- Less than 30 Minutes Weekly - You will have read your child for 60 hours!
The skill of reading is crucial but the love of reading is a life-long gift that you can give your child. So what are you waiting for???? GO READ!!!!!!
Brehon's mission is to improve the lives of children and their families by providing services that promote healthy babies and prevent child abuse and neglect.