THE IMPORTANCE OF READING TO CHILDREN
The research is overwhelming. Reading aloud to children is important!
· Reading aloud develops the knowledge of language required for success in reading.
· It will also stimulate in the child a desire to read on his/her own.
· Reading aloud stimulates imagination and expands an understanding of the world.
· It develops the ability to focus and concentrate.
· It helps a child to learn the difference between “real” and “ make-believe”.
Reading Strengthens Parent-Child Bond
And just as important as the reasons above, reading aloud with your child strengthens the parent-child bond. Being physically close and having the shared experience of reading a book together is invaluable. Having raised two boys and being a classroom teacher for over 40 years, I learned that reading aloud is not just a “little kid” thing to do. Some of my boys’ best memories are times we spent reading together – the Bible story before bed every night, the summers we read the latest Harry Potter book, and the audio book we listened to in the car on vacation.
Reading Fosters Imagination
In the classroom, our favorite time of the day was after lunch when I would read aloud. I would often choose books that were beyond their reading level, but held high interest. For younger children picture books are entertaining, but first graders also loved the fantasy and symbolism of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Third graders experienced life on the prairie with Laura Ingalls Wilder and Sarah, Plain and Tall. The ghosts in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens came alive and the book became one of 8thgraders’ favorites when read aloud.
Reading aloud to your child doesn’t have to be hard. You don’t need to read great literature; just find a book your child will enjoy. Carve out 5-10 minutes of your day to read together. You will be glad you did.