I have always enjoyed reading aloud to my children. However sometimes in the business end of the day, the baths, the dinner, homework, reading gets put to the bottom of the list or with older children you leave them to read on their own. Recently I have focused more on the story time again, of sitting on the couch and cuddling up with a few books and endless benefits from this shared time together are apparent.
When a parent sits with their child and reads aloud a story, they leave behind the business, the routines, and the stress and enter the world of the story. It is an escape and a time to bond and share a wonderful moment. Children flourish in this love and parents enjoy the moment and are building memories. Children also enjoy the company and calming voices of their parents. Having an older child read to a younger child, opens the door and makes them connect and deepen their relationship.
Recently, I scanned my bookshelf and dusted off a book I read with great enthusiasm many years ago that excited me and deepened my perception of reading and taught me the amazing benefits a child gains from hearing a story out loud. The book was “Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever “ by Australia’s bestselling author and literacy expert Mem Fox. She talks about the incredible emotional and intellectual impact that reading aloud to children has on their ability to learn to read and to their future life. She talks about the astonishing effects that reading aloud and bonding through books has on children and babies.
All parents want and expect their children to learn to read, but few realize they can get their kids on the road to reading long before they start school simply by reading aloud to them every day. Read with passion. All parents want their children to learn to read. Few parents realize the extraordinary benefits that reading aloud to a child has and I often encourage parents to read to their baby from day one. It doesn’t matter that they don’t understand the words at this stage what is important is a long list of other benefits.
How important is reading aloud to your children? It is basically the single best choice a parent can make to increase their child’s brain development than any thing else. The more stimulation a baby has through its sense of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing the more rapidly that development will occur. Reading does all these.
Reading to your child in fact starts a whole process. First you read aloud for enjoyment, next your child learns to read. You then have created a life long reader who then becomes a life long learner. What a process!
"When I say to a parent, "read to a child", I don't want it to sound like medicine. I want it to sound like chocolate." Mem Fox