One of the greatest gifts you can give to your children is to read to them every day, and it’s never too early to start. Reading will prepare your child for lifelong learning and success. More than 33 percent of children arrive at kindergarten unprepared to learn according to Readaloud.org. The organization also cites that reading aloud is the most important thing parents can do to prepare their child for learning.
Furthermore, the National Education Association has shared research from the U.S Department of Education which further supports the importance of reading. According to the data, sixty percent of children who were read to frequently were more likely to count to 20 or higher, vs. only 44% of children who were not read to frequently. In addition, 26 percent of children who were read to three or four times in the last week by a family member recognized all letters of the alphabet. Only 14 percent of children read to less frequently were able to do the same according to the same study.
You can help your children gain a competitive advantage in the world by teaching them to love reading at a young age. Here are a few tips to make reading even more fun for your kids:
- Sing the words. Most children’s books are written in rhyming verse. I have yet to meet a kid who doesn’t like music. Sing the words and clap along. You’ll be amazed to see how your child jumps in.
- Attend a storytime session. Most public libraries offer free storytime sessions, where a librarian reads to a group of kids. Let your child see that other kids enjoy reading, too.
- Lead by example. Read something for yourself in front of your child. You want your kids to develop a lifelong love of learning. You don’t want them to think reading is just for babies. Let them know that it’s something you enjoy as an adult, too.
Reading with your children will not only help prepare them to be better students, it will also help you create lifetime memories. Some of my favorite childhood memories include trips to the library with my mom. I had the privilege of hearing my child’s first real belly laugh when we were reading together. These are magical moments that you can easily create just by spending a little time each day reading with your child.