>> Feb 10, 2012
1. Reading out loud to babies and young children helps them to get accustomed to language sounds and begin to learn words. Over time it will improve your children’s vocabulary and writing skills, which will help them to do well in school.
2. Books can often introduce children to new things about the world, such as exotic animals and faraway places. Although they learn new things every day, their world and experiences are limited. They will begin to build a wealth of background knowledge in a number of areas including science, history, and social studies.
3. Children who learn how to read at an early age will develop vivid imaginations. Even before they can read the words, they’ll learn to predict what might happen next from the colorful pictures and the story they hear you tell them.
4. Books provide a healthy alternative to television. TV can expose children to violence, sexual promiscuity, and drugs at a young age. It also trains children to be passive consumers rather than active thinkers.
5. As your children learn to read on their own it will help boost their self-esteem and confidence. They will become more likely to be leaders and achieve success.
6. Children who read become more empathetic to others because they learn to understand human emotion through books. Above all things, literature values humanity and celebrates the human spirit.
7. Reading helps children to develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Most children’s books involve characters getting into a problem and coming up with a solution. Children who read will learn to understand the logical sequence from beginning to end and have examples to draw on when they solve real-life problems.
8. When you read to your children, you are a positive role model by showing them that reading is important to you. As a result, your children will value reading as well. This is the best way to foster a lifelong love of reading and learning.
9. Reading to your children just before bedtime each night will help calm them down and establish a routine that they can rely on. Studies have proven that children who are exposed to computer and television screens before bed will disrupt their sleeping patterns, which are essential for healthy development.
10. Most importantly, reading with your children will strengthen the bond that you share. Reading together allows you to interact with them when you take turns reading sentences or you ask them what they think might happen next. The physical closeness of having your child on your lap or sitting next to their bed will express the love you have for them.
Jan Pierce is a 4th grade teacher who has over 20 years of experience in the classroom. She also owns the site Elementary Education Degree for students interested in earning a degree in elementary education.