The Benefits of Reading to Your Child

My grandchildren love for me to read aloud, especially at bedtime. Studies have shown that if you start reading a loud to your child that they will become interested in books. The more you expose them, the more reading will be come a habit. I always snuggled with my daughter while reading and I’ve continued the tradition with my grandchildren.

I attribute my daughter’s academic success to her love of reading. She went on to become an honor student, a member of Who’s Who in America, and a member of the Spanish Honor Society.

Times have changed, you can now download books to your Kindle, iPad or whatever techy device you’re using. I still believe in purchasing hard copies of books as well. I have established a library for my grandchildren. I want them to physically see and feel the books.

The Benefits of Reading to Your Child:

*Reading together creates a bond.

*Reading helps build a child’s vocabulary. If there is a word that my grandson, who is 6 doesn’t understand, I stop reading and explain it.

*Your child will learn to follow a story from beginning to end. (You won’t be able to fool them if you try to skip pages. If it’s one of their favorite stories, they will know it by heart).

*Your child will have an appreciation for writing as well. My grandson loves to draw and write now.

*Strong academics.

Reading Tips:

*Start reading to your child as early as 6 months. Children this age will usually want to eat their books. Vinyl books would be appropriate for this age group.

*Select reading material that interest your child and is appropriate to his/her age group. Toddlers love bright colors and books that are simple. Board books are perfect.

*Use different voices and pitches (vary your tone) when you read. Young children usually prefer to hear the same story over and over.

*Purchase a personalized book for your child. They love reading about themselves.

*PBS has great programs where they focus on words, spelling, and their meaning.

Check out you TV Guide for timeslots and programs.

*Have your child turn the page when you’re reading. This gets them involved.

*Allow your child to ask questions, and be sure to ask your child questions about the story.

*Introduce them to book stores and libraries early. Allow your child to select books from his or her age group.

*Take your child to the local library for story hour. Be sure to get them a library card.

*Set an example. If your child sees you reading, they will follow.

*Don’t substitute books on tape. The true bonding experience and benefits come from you taking the time to read to your child.

Your children will find joy in books if you are an example. Let them see you reading and they will follow.

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James Parkinson