Why is reading so important?
Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who don’t but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures. In fact, there’s evidence to suggest that reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background.
What difference could I make as a parent?
The short answer is a lot! Parents are by far the most important educators in a child’s life and it’s never too young for a child to start, even if you’re only reading with your child for a few minutes a day. Before they’re born, babies learn to recognize their parents’ voices. Reading to your baby from the time they’re born gives them the comfort of your voice and increases their exposure to the language.
Building vocabulary and understanding
Learning to read is about listening and understanding as well as working out print. Through hearing stories, children are exposed to a rich and wide vocabulary, which helps improve their language and understanding. Even if your child doesn’t understand every word, they’ll hear new sounds, words and phrases which they can then try out, copying what they have heard.
What Books Should I Choose?
Reading together should be fun so pick books that you both enjoy! You can share picture books, chapter books, poetry and non-fiction, and find what interests your child. A library is a perfect option if you are struggling with your choice.
Where Should We Read?
If you’re at home, why not sit closely together somewhere cosy and quiet so you can immerse yourselves in the story. Sharing a story together can also be fun if you’re out and about. You can share books anywhere – on a train, in the park, or while you’re waiting in a long shopping queue!