Most people think that being able to read is the ultimate sign of intelligence. In reality the true signs of intelligence comes well before reading. The foundation for reading relies on the early literacy skills set from birth-5 years old (when most children begin reading). It is important for parents to begin introducing their children to books and story time.
Family Scholarly Culture and Educational Success: Books and Schooling in 27 Nations published in Research in Social Stratification and Mobility reported “children growing up in homes with many books get 3 years more schooling than children from bookless homes, independent of their parents’ education, occupation, and class. So, it doesn’t matter your parents education level, occupation or socioeconomic status if you fill your home with books and you and your children read them, your child will have better academic success.
Parents often ask me, what can they do to help their children with language development? I tell them to read! Many people can’t afford to fill their homes with books, no problem visit your local library and borrow books for FREE! I’ve been an avid reader since I learned how to read. My love of reading fueled my natural desire for me to read to my children. I read to my girls in the womb and continue to read to them today. We made sure that every room in our house has books, yup, in the bathroom we have book covers framed. We also made bedtime reading part of our daily routine.
Sharing story time as part of your routine will allow your child to develop solid early literacy skills (i.e. phonological awareness print to text awareness), turn taking, increase vocabulary, and developing a love for books.
Please note bed time is not the only time you can read to your little ones. I would hand my baby a book while I prepared dinner, I kept books in the car, the stroller and the baby bag. The picture on the left is one of my favorites. I was cooking and looked over and saw, my oldest, reading her book. I was so proud and excited for her. No gimmicks, no tricks, no my baby can read is needed just setting the foundation in your child’s natural environment.
Reading to your little one is easy, however, there are some things to keep in mind to help maximize reading time and to help make “everyday learning” an effective means to increasing intelligence and academic performance:
- in the beginning stick with short books, bright pictures and repetitive words.
- choose books they can mouth and drool all over.
- read the same book multiple times and allow your child to fill in words while you are reading.
- allow your child to turn the pages if they are interested.
- discuss how important it is to take care of our books.
- read with life, as if you are the characters; make gestures, change vocal tones
- allow your child to have his/her own bookshelf or reading area.
- improvise as needed (i.e., providing a definition)
- allow for your child to pick books for story time.
- allow your child to “read” to you.
Introduce books and reading to your kids as early as possible. If you are starting late, no problem, your child will still benefit from increasing reading at any age or academic level. There is really no wrong way to read, just do it and do it often. So, go ahead and spend some quality fun time reading with your little ones and setting a foundation that will last a life time.
Everyday Learning. No Gimmick. No Tricks.
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