Benefits Of Reading To Your Child

Reading is so important to your child's development, and you can take an active role in encouraging your child to read.

Illiteracy is a very real problem. There are hundreds, even thousands, of adults who have never learned to read and write. How do they function in today's world? Often, they merely get by. It is hard to believe that there are so many people who do not have an understanding of the written word. The only way to combat this ongoing problem is to focus on instilling a love of reading in children. It is not only the schools' job to ensure that children have excelling reading and writing skills, but it is also a parent's job to help their children become skilled readers.

Reading opens up a world which is virtually inaccessible to those who are illiterate. People who are literate rarely have limits, unless they have set those limits upon themselves. Reading inspires learning. Prolific readers desire knowledge, and that desire never stops. Children who are read to as infants and continue to read throughout their academic years have a better chance of attending college and graduate school, and they have more success in their subsequent employment.

It is so important to begin reading to your child when she is just an infant. Some parents even begin reading to their children before they are born. As your child listen to you read to her, she is developing in so many ways. She is learning the rudiments of language, and she will try to repeat the sounds and the cadence of your voice as she grows and matures. Reading is an excellent way to encourage her to learn new words and expand her vocabulary.

Reading also helps her learn to focus on a particular task. When you sit down with your child to read, you are teaching her to concentrate and focus her attention on the written word. This will set a pattern for her that should follow her into the classroom setting. When your child is just a baby, you can read short, colorful books to her. You should point out particular objects on each page and repeat the names of those objects. You will be your child's first teacher, and your role is extremely important to her development.

As your child enters pre-school and kindergarten, he will begin to recognize letters, numbers, and even words. He will learn how to spell small words, and he will be thrilled at each word he masters. You can continue to help your child by reading with him every day. Your role should still be interactive. While you may have to read many of the words in the stories, your child may be able to help you read, and you should encourage him to do so.

Once your child has mastered enough words that he can read very simple books, your role should begin to change. He will take the more active role of reader. This doesn't mean that you should take a passive role, however. Instead, once your child has finished reading, it is your job to ask him about what he has read. You and your child should discuss together what the book was about, what lessons were taught, and what your child thought about the book. When you discuss the book, you are teaching your child to engage in critical thinking, and you are helping to build his self-esteem.

As your child becomes a better reader, you may feel that your job is finished. In fact, you can still take an active role in encouraging your child to continue to read. If your child's school uses the Accelerated Reader program, you can keep up with your child's progress by asking him about the book that he is reading. Your child's teacher should monitor the level that he is reading on. If you think that your child's level is incompatible with his reading capabilities, you should not hesitate to set up a conference with his teacher.

Finally, your child needs to see you read, also. It really doesn't matter what you read, as long as you are reading daily. If you can, subscribe to the local paper. Encourage your child to read articles that might be of interest to him, and discuss the articles with him. You can create a newspaper scavenger hunt, which encourages him to search for items in the newspaper. Introduce your child to the local library. Sign him up for summer reading programs, which typically offer prizes to every reader. Order his favorite magazine, and order a magazine for yourself as well. Reading is so important to your child's development, and you can take an active role in encouraging your child to read.

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