Why Reading Aloud to Your Children Is a Good Idea
This post was first published on wfmchealth.org.
Study after study has shown that reading books to your kids is beneficial. It’s also easy to do since it’s an activity that doesn’t require anything but having access to books. It can be a wonderful way to bond with your child, and this goes for others who read books with him or her, such as a grandparent or a favorite aunt or uncle.
Following are some of the advantages of reading out loud to your children.
Children Who Are Read to Have Larger Vocabularies
It’s been recognized for some time now that children benefit cognitively and academically from having someone read to them. A recent study from the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics shows that kindergartners whose parents read to them have anywhere from several hundred thousand up to a million more words in their vocabularies compared to kids that were not read to.
Books often contain language that doesn’t necessarily come up in day-to-day conversations that kids are exposed to. Hearing those words pronounced aloud makes it easier for children to learn them later on when they’re being taught to read and write, ultimately leading to enhanced reading comprehension, better communication skills, and improved test scores.
Being Read to Promotes Concentration and Longer Attention Spans
Listening while being read to requires that your kids get into the habit of just being still and focusing. This helps them learn to concentrate and pay attention, which is the kind of behavior that will help them when they’re in a learning environment like school.
Kids who are read to tend to pick up a love of books, too, which is good considering the amount of reading that will be required of them throughout their school careers.
Reading to Kids Helps Them Be More Empathetic
Instilling a sense of morality in kids is one of the fundamental jobs of a parent, and reading books aloud can help. You can lecture a child, but nothing brings home the idea that people everywhere share the same feelings like hearing someone’s story told in specific detail. Whether it’s a simple narrative about friendship and doing the right thing or a more complex tale about knights displaying courage, books let kids identify with the characters in a story, even when those people are very different.
You should aim to read to your child every day because engaging in this simple activity for as little as 30 minutes a day is enough to begin reaping the rewards.