How Reading to Your Children Helps Them Thrive
Reading to children is a time-honored tradition for families across the globe, and one that nurtures memories of love and security. However, reading aloud to your children offers so much more than that. It also provides a number of benefits including higher intelligence, improved language skills and more academic success.
Children are never too young or too old to benefit from listening to a book. The majority of brain growth occurs from birth to 5 years of age, and during those formative years, the cognitive processes are developing as well.
Research has shown that children who are read to in an interactive style, actually have higher IQs and they often rank higher on test scores throughout school. Additionally, being read to during the early years of childhood equips children with better fluency in verbal communication, spelling, and learning to read on their own is much easier too.
Not only does reading to your child expand their vocabulary early on, but listening to you talk also promotes their personal writing and reading skills.
Benefits of Reading to Your Children
Reading aloud to small children engages various developmental skills including listening, handling books, and becoming familiar with letters and sounds and also how stories are structured. When babies are read to, it promotes learning of the basic literacy skills.
And while reading aloud to infants as they are cradled in your arms is certainly a joy, research indicates that even your unborn baby can benefit from it. Being able to hear your voice while in the womb is soothing and familiar. Especially during the last ten weeks of pregnancy, the sounds of your reading and talking begin laying the foundation for their language development.
Also, reading calms children when they are stressed and it promotes curios
ity, imagination, and memory retention. Young children sometimes have difficulty expressing themselves and oftentimes a familiar story will be relatable to an emotion they are experiencing. Curling up together to share a book will often clue you in on what your child is feeling.
Reading aloud is an ideal way to expose them to various types of literature including fairy tales, short stories, biographies, rhyming books, and poetry, while learning about the world.
Not only does reading to your child expand their vocabulary early on, but listening to you talk also promotes their personal writing and reading skills. Sharing a story together gives you something to talk about and having a discussion afterwards helps develop your child’s thinking skills as well.
Reading Aloud Helps Children Develop Social Skills
Reading aloud provides you with the perfect opportunity to bring the story to life by using different voices for characters, adding sound effects, and tones of excitement.
This process can help increase emotional awareness and imagination. Looking at the pictures in a book and pointing to words as they are being read also helps in the development of communication and social skills in infants.
The Importance of Reading to Grade School Children and Teens
Even as children learn reading skills, it is beneficial to continue reading aloud to them. Books expose children to different places, people, cultures, times, and events well beyond their personal experiences; and the opportunity to explore the world in this way helps them gain an understanding of how others live, which is a key element for learning empathy.
Perhaps you think that teens aren’t interested in being read aloud to, but it continuously exposes them to alternative forms of literature. In middle and high school classrooms, teachers often read aloud to students to open their minds to new possibilities. When you continue the routine at home, the bonding component will always be there and the more likely they will embrace it.
It’s Never too Early to Start
Reading a good book promotes the expansion of knowledge and also provides the opportunity to mentally escape to another world, time, or imaginary adventure, regardless of age. And, reading aloud to your children provides the perfect opportunity to bond and learn together. Further, when parents read to children, it forms a lifelong love of books, passing the age-old tradition to new generations.