Literacy is Rooted in LoveOne of the sweetest, most memorable, experiences for a parent or caretaker is sitting down in a chair, putting your arm around your child, and reading books together. That simple activity of discovering stories with each other, one on one, strengthens your bond and sets your child up for a lifetime of loving books.
Only half of all toddlers – and even fewer babies – are read to regularly by parents or family members, according to the nonprofit literacy group, Reading is Fundamental, which recommends reading at least 30 minutes a day to help prepare a child to learn.
Long before a child learns to read, she is absorbing sounds and patterns of language by listening to you and other caregivers talk. The more you engage her brain by reading with her as part of a regular routine, the better equipped she’ll be for both speaking and reading – and the more she’ll learn to associate books with enjoyment. That can be a big advantage later in school, when reading is sometimes perceived as more work than fun.
You can lay a good foundation for early literacy by celebrating books and reading in your household. Visit the local library with your preschooler and let them check out new (or favorite!) books. Let your child discover you reading on the couch for relaxation. With an infant who’s just starting to babble, you can point to pictures in a board book, and vary your tone of voice as you narrate a story. And when your child learns to read, you can encourage her to read aloud with you.
Reading with your child will greatly expand vocabulary and actually help with other subjects like math. And a child who has fun exploring books at home as a very young child is likely to go on and enjoy reading once she reaches school, and beyond.
- Ideas from Zero to Three about how to make reading fun for your baby and toddler.
- Learn about milestones in early literacy development from Reach Out and Read.
In The News:
- “5 Hidden Benefits of Reading for Kids (and Their Parents!),” The Huffington Post, September 30, 2013.
- “Opinion: Prescribing Love of Reading to Young Families Should be Mandatory,” NBC Latino, March 20, 2013.
VideoMom Jennifer Cooper reads a bedtime story to her two children and says reading together enhances their vocabulary and their math skills. >>
These parents clearly love and miss their daughters. I am sure they have fond memories of reading to their little girls. They have worked hard and sacrificed to finance a good education for them, and now they want their kidnapped daughters back. There needs to be more attention brought to their plight.