March is Read Aloud Month. I can't believe I almost missed this opportunity to blog about what I consider to be THE MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do for your child's educational success!
I'm a HUGE advocate of reading. Anyone that has seen the stacks of books I bring home from the library or that are on my own bookshelves knows this. One of my favorite times of the day is the time I sit down with my sons to read. Yes, I read to the older one as well as the youngest. I will read to my oldest son for as long as he will allow me and I enjoy the coziness of cuddling up with my youngest on the couch under a soft blanket and all the giggling that ensues. So when I hear or read about other parents who say they just don't have time to read much to their kids, it boggles my mind.
The importance of reading aloud is often overlooked as parents sometimes miss the role that reading to their children plays in the child's development. Only 48% of kids are read to daily in the United States. Yet research has shown time and time again that reading aloud to your child is actually the single most important thing you can do to prepare him or her for reading and other learning. Not only does this social time offer a chance of emotional connection with your child, but it promotes vocabulary, literacy skills and improves the child's overall language development and reading ability.
Furthermore, it's important to KEEP READING to your children, even AFTER they have learned to read on their own. The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends reading to children beginning at birth. This is wonderful, but lets not forget to keep reading even after the child develops the skills to read for themselves. Studies have actually shown that those children that are read aloud to will read for their own pleasure more than the kids who are not read to.
Sharon Younger of Chicagonow.com wrote an article describing 7 reasons why reading aloud to older kids is important including enjoyment, life lessons, building of vocabulary and the fact that children LISTEN on a different level than what they READ on. When you read to them at a level above their own reading level (in other words, at their LISTENING level), they will get excited about the plot which is more complicated than he or she can read for themselves and this will further their hook for reading.
Reading aloud to your child is a true predictor of their success in this world. Success in reading which leads to success in life. Take time to read aloud and expose your child to not only the story knowledge of a quality book, but rare words and ideas that you truly do not always cover in your day-to-day conversations. Take time to read aloud and give your child this quality time to practice listening - a skill that is of utmost importance not only for academic learning but to prevent YOU from having to repeat things over and over . There is SO much skill provided in just sitting down and reading to your child each day.
So turn the TV off or yeah, even the LeapPad in my own home, and read to your child.
Readaloud.org states that just 15 minutes a day can have a HUGE impact. Check out their information on this@http://www.readaloud.org/15minutes.html
I challenge you!! Read to your child today for 15 minutes. Then do it again tomorrow. Then do it again the next day, and the next and the next......
What Book(s) Did You Read To Your Child Today?