“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” — Emilie Buchwald
Reading is one of the best and inexpensive gifts a parent can give to their child. Reading to a preschool child not only benefits him to succeed in his school years but also throughout his whole life. In fact, Reading to a child on regular basis is considered to be the single most important achievement in early years.
Consistency is the only word here. Being a parent, it is important to devote some fixed time for reading to your child everyday. It really doesn’t matter what is the content of reading; it could be a sports page, a story, some comic strip, spiritual reading or even gardening or poetry. The chances are a child becomes a good reader and interested in reading when she sees her parents in the same mood that is showing interest in books. Reading to young children benefits them in a myriad of ways. This is the best thing a parent can provide a child with a foundation for academic excellence.
Jacqueline Kennedy quoted once, “There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” The importance of reading to preschool children is many-folds. There are innumerable essential skill building benefits of reading; some of them are as follows-
Creates a strong bond (Develop socio-emotional skills)– Reading by a parent or grand parent provides a good opportunity to share some quiet, relaxed and wonderful time together away from all those running errands or hustle bustle of busy life. They share a quality time cuddling and sharing the ideas that are contained in the story or some book. Hence reading becomes a vital nurturing activity that aids in making the parent-child bond stronger and providing that emotional security and the confidence in child’s mind.
2. Building vital language skills – when parents read out loud, it gives children an exposure to proper phrasing, pronunciation and grammar. Reading out loud enhances the spoken skills of child and later, their ability to express themselves verbally. Reading exposes them to new vocabulary which deepens their knowledge gradually. It also allows children to learn more about different topics and find details about any subject, hence opening up a new world of possibilities for them.
Building a base for academic excellence– One of the most important benefit of reading to the young children is a higher aptitude for learning in educative years. Various studies have proven that children, who get exposure to reading in their early formative years, are more likely to excel in academic field in their later and formal education.
4. Develop logical thinking skills– children grasp abstract concepts when they are hearing a story. The child learns to apply logic in numerous scenarios, recognizes cause and effect and learns to apply good judgment. The child learns to relate the scenarios in book to what’s actually happening in the world around him. He also becomes more excited about the experiences shared through the books.
5. Enhances concentration and Discipline – young children, initially show distraction during reading time and they seem to be disinterested most of the times. But eventually, they learn to be calm with the passage of time and with the efforts put in by the parents. A stronger self discipline is developed along with a longer attention span and better memory retention. All these lead to serve the child well when she is ready to go to school.
6. Basics to handle the books – when children observe their parents how they are handling the books, they learn a great deal of knowledge as to how the text is read from top to bottom, left to right, or the words are separate from the images, spaces between words and sentences, familiar and unfamiliar words etc. these are the emergent pre reading skills and important building blocks to read independently in their school years.
7. Improved Hand-Eye coordination – it is always suggested that when you read to your child, use the finger to point the words or pictures and also guide the child to do the same. This helps to improve their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
8. Enriches children’s lives – Reading opens the doors to plenty of knowledge about different parts of world. They learn about different places, people, their culture, and their way of living. Carefully chosen stories influence a child’s mind in a positive way. Child learns basic essential skills through stories, which are helpful in leading a wonderful life ahead.
9. Plenty of Good and Clean fun – Reading provides children with endless hours of enjoyment. Stories open up an imaginary exciting and fantasy world to them which allows children to feel happy.
In nutshell, reading proves to be a vital skill for a child which becomes an important source of knowledge and a pleasure which lasts a life time. It’s the best nurturance a parent can give to their child in early childhood.