“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” ― Albert Einstein
Reading to a child in her early years influences the most in achieving the primary grades learning goals. This could be perhaps the best gift parents can bestow upon their child. It lays a strong foundation for reading habits in the later years of child. There are various benefits a child gets when a parent reads to her; the most important ones being the development of language, pre-literacy and social skills.
To make this activity more fruitful, here are few tips to be followed by the parents-
1. Set an example to your children by reading to them everyday. Be consistent. It doesn’t matter what you read to your child but read at least twenty minutes to your child everyday. (Ten minutes for toddlers). According to a study by the American Guidance Service, “Children who see their parents reading tend to be better readers themselves.”
2. Choose a cozy, quiet and comfortable space to sit and read with your child. Light should be soft.
3. Reading time could be made special by cuddling up with the child in her favourite blanket. It would help in strengthening the bond between both of you.
4. You can substitute your child’s name with main the character of the book or use some funny voices to read the story. Voice modulation brings dramatic effects to reading. Or you can enact some characters in the story if your child demands.
5. You can write a story yourself based on your daily life’s routine or visit library/bookshop together to pick a book for your child.
6. Move your finger on words or pictures while reading a story. This way your child will learn the progression and the way to handle the books. That is how to read the text, how to turn the pages, top to bottom, left to right and front to back etc. These basics concepts will help her further when she is in preschool or start a formal schooling.
7. Read as many times as the child demands. Don’t sound bored. You never know what your child is gaining in every re-reading process.
8. Introduce any new book before reading to your child. Even mention the author name also.
9. Talk/discuss about the story after finishing it. Ask the child which part did she like the most.
10. Repeat the words or lines your child liked more. It helps her in learning new words, correct pronunciation and their meaning etc.
11. Read Aloud to your child. (Details in upcoming post)
At the end it would not be an exaggeration to quote about reading here-
“You may have tangible wealth untold.
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be –
I had a mother who read to me.” ~ Gillian Strickland, poet