Reading Together From an Early Age: The Key to Academic Success

Posted: September 2, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Guest post today from Sarah Morris… thanks, Sarah, for caring and posting!

Reading Together From an Early Age: The Key to Academic Success

 Submitted by Sarah Morris, on behalf of Primrose Schools. With a comprehensive preschool education, your child will reap the benefits!

Education experts have long known that children who are active independent readers are more likely to achieve academic success. Most parents are interested in nurturing a love of reading in their children, and the truth is that it’s never too early to begin. Even before they are born children recognize and respond to the voices of their parents. While reading “Goodnight, Moon” to your belly may feel silly at first, it actually has a calming, beneficial effect on both mother and child and can help form the habit of daily reading.
Once your child arrives, make sure to share books with her from the beginning. Reading with your child is the single best way to teach them to love books. Choose simple books with bright, high-contrast illustrations and few words for very young children. Point out the pictures and colors while the baby is more active. Use a soothing voice to read classic storybooks with beautiful illustrations in the evening as he is falling asleep. As your child grows so will his or her taste in books. Infants enjoy touch-and-feel books with textures. Toddlers love rhyming or singing books, counting books and books with hidden pictures or flaps to lift.

Be prepared to read the same book over and over. Children quickly become attached to certain stories and want to hear them time and again. Don’t just drone through the story – be an entertainer! Silly voices, exaggerated looks of surprise, laughter and questions are all big hits with children – no matter how often they’ve heard them. Don’t be surprised if your children want to continue reading their favorites long past the time you would have thought they’d outgrown them. As long as they are reading other, age-appropriate stories, it’s just a sign of devotion.

Try these tips to encourage your children to develop a lifelong love of reading:

· Keep books in the house. A shelf full of books sends a strong message to emerging readers. Even very young children enjoy paging through the pictures in art or nature books.
· Supply your children with age-appropriate reading materials and let them choose which stories they would like to read.
· Read to your child every day. Studies have shown that even 20 minutes daily has a more beneficial effect than attempting to “bank” minutes and read for a longer period once a week.
· Don’t just read books. Read street signs, storefronts and billboards while in the car; read labels, boxes and produce bins at the grocery store. It’s important for children to understand that reading doesn’t just come in books.
· Take your child to the library. The library is free and best of all – it’s filled with people who love books. Most libraries host story hours or family fun days. Even infants are welcome.
· If your child expresses an interest in something they have learned in school, take them to the library or a local bookstore so they can find out more. It’s important to encourage independent learning.
· Keep books in your bag or in the car for long trips or unexpected delays. Stash a few books in every room of the house for spur-of-the-moment story times.

There’s one more thing you can do to encourage a love of reading in your children. Pick up a good book! Research has shown that the children of readers are more likely to become readers themselves. Let your children see you reading and when they ask what your book is about, put it down and tell them.

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