We all know that reading to our children is important. It is drilled into us from the time our children are very small that we must read to them.
Have you ever wondered why it is so important?
Why is reading so important, and in particular, why is reading to children so important? In fact, sometimes reading to our children can seem pretty futile. When they’re very young their attention spans are incredibly short, and their patience is even shorter.Why then do we need to go through the hassle of spending 20+ minutes reading to our children every day. What are the real benefits of daily storytime, can they be measured?
I received my associate’s degree in early childhood education,and I’ve always been a voice for early childhood literacy. So it should come as no surprise that we read to our children on a daily basis.
I will admit, however, that there are times I wonder if it’s really worth it. You know, those times when they clearly are not listening, or they’re shutting the book or even worse ripping the pages to their favorite book.
I admit, in those moments, my resolve to read to my children daily weakens.
So with tomorrow ( March 2nd) being the NEA’s annual Read Across America AND Dr. Seuss’s birthday, I thought it would be worthwhile to revisit and refresh all the wonderful things that reading to our children can accomplish.
Here are 10 great reasons why you should read to your children daily (Click on any of the links below to get to the source):
“Research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in school.”
I don’t know any parent that doesn’t want what’s best for their child. Getting a good education is typically of the utmost importance to all parents. If you can guarantee that your child will get a better education because you read to them a minimum of 20 min. a day, why wouldn’t you?
Prisons are filled with people who cannot read. This doesn’t mean that all criminals are illiterate, just that the statistics do not weigh in the favor of kids that can’t read. Kids who can’t read unfortunately grow up to be adults that can’t read, a fate none of us desire for our children.
“The ability to learn about new subjects and find helpful information on anything from health problems and consumer protection to more academic research into science or the arts depends on the ability to read.”
Think about it, it doesn’t matter what class you are taking, the ability to read is essential for every subject. You might be good with numbers, but you still have to read directions to find out what equation they want you to solve. You might be an excellent actress or actor, but you need to learn to read a script. Reading is essential for everything we do, without it it seems unlikely that anyone can succeed.
“Basic speech skills. Throughout toddlerhood and preschool, your child is learning critical language and enunciation skills.”
Children learn how to speak, how to have conversations, and how to make requests by listening to those around them. The more language your children hear on a daily basis, the more opportunity you provide them to learn these valuable social skills.
How many times have you watched a movie, read a book, heard a story and related to it? Every day we are faced with new challenges, problems we’ve never faced before, ideas we’ve never entertained. Sometimes it takes a story to make sense of that which doesn’t naturally make sense. Kids run into the unknown and unfamiliar every single day. Reading allows us the ability as parents to equip our children with the tools necessary to understand, problem solve and relate to the world around them.
“The average kindergarten student has seen more than 5,000 hours of television, having spent more time in front of the TV than it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree. [Our children need balance.]”-
I am not going to lie, my children watch TV. In fact, the majority of children do watch some amount of TV nowadays. There certainly are a lot of interactive children’s programs available today, but they still do a poor job of inspiring little imaginations. Reading allows them the ability to use their imagination to fill in blanks, giving them the opportunity to come to their own conclusions and nurture their creativity.
“If parents understood the huge educational benefit and intense happiness brought about by reading aloud to their children, and if every parent—and every adult caring for a child—read aloud a minimum of three stories a day to the children in their lives, we could probably wipe out illiteracy within one generation.” quote by Mem Fox
This is such an inspirational quote, I just love it. If every parent would just read three stories a day, illiteracy could be wiped out within one generation? Can you even imagine the possibilities, a world where every one could read? How many of us take for granted our ability to read? Imagine for a moment, that you did not have the ability to read the consent form at your doctor’s office. Or you weren’t able to read warning signs on the side of the road. Maybe you want to read to your children but you just don’t know how. This is why literacy is so important; without it, think about how much more difficult it would be to function in day-to-day life.
“Learning to read begins long before a child enters school. It begins when parents read to their children, buy their children books, and encourage their children to read. The research is clear: parents who are poor readers don’t read as often to their children as do parents who are strong readers; children who are not read to enter school less prepared for learning to read than other children.”–
Wow, it really can become a vicious cycle. If your children never learn to read, the likelihood of their children being illiterate as well increases dramatically.
This is really what it all boils down to. Reading is fun. It can be an escape, it can be informative and it is essential to succeed in life.
Participate in this year’s NEA Read Across America and encourage others to as well. Illiteracy is an epidemic that needs to be conquered and erased. Fight illiteracy, read to your children, and let them see your enthusiasm. Instill a love for literature early and often, and set your children off on the path to success.
Here are some helpful links to participate:
Do you read to your children? How often? What books does your family enjoy? Tell me in the comments!