July 18, 2016

10 Reasons Why Parents Need to Read Aloud to Their Children

10 Reasons Why Parents Need to Read Aloud to Their Children

Those hours spent on parents laps reading picture books matter. Here are 10 reasons why caretakers should keep up the tradition of story time on a frequent and consistent basis during childhood:

1. Higher Academic Achievement. More than a fair amount of studies prove over and over again that students who read regularly put themselves on the fast track to language mastery and academic success.  

2. Well Developed Phonemic Awareness. Children will be able to hear, identify, and break down a word into its smaller units of sound, which is of an advantage when phonics and spelling are taught.

3. Better Communication Skills. Children who are ready to learn to verbally interact, listen, and express their emotions and feelings with others in a more healthy manner.  One Yale study showed us that students who struggle with reading often struggle with verbal processing along with other communication skills. Reading and communicating are intricately interlinked to one another.

4. Builds the Brain's Vocabulary Bank. Books use language rich words that we don't use as frequently in our everyday conversations with one another. 

5. Bonding. Reading to and with your children from an early age and throughout elementary school, provides opportunities to bond with your child and strengthen your relationship with them. During those times you're also (most likely) cuddling with them, which is a stress reliever for both of you.

6. Modeling a Love for Reading. Children who attach a sense of enjoyment to reading early on are far more likely to pick up books later in the classroom. They're also more likely, in the long run, to return to reading for fun and pleasure over other activities like playing video games or watching television.

7. Promotes Brain Power! Reading is an activity that requires our brains to practice decoding skills far more than watching a television show; it strengthens and builds the brains wiring (neuron connections). Thus, it trains a person's ability to concentrate for longer periods of time.

8. Builds Your Child's Background Knowledge. Think of your mind like a series of filing cabinets. When new information--be it text, pictures, dialogue, etc.--is taken in through your senses, your brain then files the information into categories or "folders." The more knowledge one takes in, the bigger their "folders" become over time. When go to teach something new to our students, as teachers, it's of far greater benefit to build off of what the child already knows--what "folders" their brains have already started building. We know that if a student can build off of something they've already been introduced to (even if it's just a tiny dose) previously, they will be able to obtain, remember, and apply newer knowledge quicker and better.

9. Develops Basic Logic Skills. When we're reading we use various logic skills to deduce and inquire about meanings and ideas behind a text (comprehension skills). This is why teachers often stop and ask students questions like, "What do you think will happen next?" or "If this happens to our character, what might be the result?"

10. Character Building. Reading teaches us how to make judgments in certain contexts and situations through modeling via story. Children who read fiction show that they have a greater ability to be empathetic towards others.

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