Reading has always been an important skill. In our modern world it is more important than ever.
Children learn about the importance of reading as they watch family members use reading and writing for everyday purposes.
Reading with young children is the single most important activity that you can undertake to develop a child’s future reading and writing skills. Reading aloud to children also supports their development in other ways – it supports language development, promotes parent/child bonding and helps parents relate positively to their children.
Reading with your child at home will help your child in all learning areas of school. You can also read to your children when you are out and about. You can read shop signs, shopping brochures, traffic signs, billboards and junk mail. Children see you reading and writing in everyday life – reading for pleasure, sharing a story with your child, using a recipe, making a shopping list, writing a birthday card or reading road signs. This teaches them that reading and writing are useful skills in today’s world.
Here are eight great tips to help your child succeed at school:
- Be yourself. Involve children in everyday conversations
- Read aloud to children. It helps them to learn the language of books and will encourage them to enjoy books and reading
- Talk about books, read together and make reading an enjoyable, shared activity
- Make sure there is a wide range of reading material for your child at home
- Try not to let television intrude on reading time. Make a special time for reading with your child, away from interruption (bed time is great)
- Listen to your child read every day, even for a short time
- Give books as treats and presents
- Join your local library – It’s free and they’ve got lots of books for you to borrow
So when do we start? You should begin reading to your babies from birth, or at the very least, from 3 or 4 months of age. You can’t start too early. The first five years are the most important development years in your child’s life. Every time you read to your baby it helps to create those important connections in the brain that support good language and literacy skills.
By age 3, kids spoken to, and read to more frequently have an IQ that’s 1.5 times higher than that of children who weren’t. By the time they’re in primary school, they will develop stronger reading, spelling, and writing skills.
Children who are not read to on a daily basis start kindergarten and primary school behind their peers. There is significant research that says that most kids who start behind, never catch up. By reading to your children on a daily basis you are giving them the best possible start to life.
You are your child’s first and most important teacher. Read daily to your child. The earlier you start, the better, and remember, kids who read succeed!