There is no denying that an exhilarating book can take you on your greatest adventures. Each page tantalizes your senses. All your attention is given to the page as you dive into the main character’s purpose. You can anticipate the next danger, feel the heart-break and smell the aroma’s of the landscape described. You can travel to far off lands yet never leave your room. The gift of reading is the gift that lasts a lifetime.
Tips for Raising a Reader
Raising an active reader can be difficult in this age of technology. We are pulled in so many different directions with unlimited distractions. It is hard to make time for reading. Here are a few tips to help facilitate raising a lifelong reader.
It is recommended to start reading to your child in the womb. This allows your child to start bonding with you and your voice while fostering an intellectual curiosity. Reading aloud to your child is crucial. As with anything, consistency is the key. Therefore, once your baby is born make it a habit to read ten minutes nightly. By choosing age-appropriate books and reading them aloud you are developing early literacy skills.
Make Reading Fun
Remember to have fun by choosing different books that allow you to dive into the characters. By changing your voice and being silly your child will look forward to the nightly reading adventure. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin Jr, was a favorite in our house. It is a fun read that allows for lots of giggles and voice changes. Additionally, it is quickly memorized allowing children to “read” to you. Reading is a child-centered activity that cultivates feelings of security, attachment and ultimately a love for books! Also, have older siblings read to younger siblings. According to the University of Michigan, children who are read to each day are more successful in school than children who aren’t. This can have a lifelong impact on their education, imagination, and intellectual growth.
Libraries offer story time sessions for all children of any age. Furthermore, they may offer varied reading programs. This helps to encourage school-age children to read throughout the year. Consider, getting your child their own library card. This helps to make them feel important and encourages independence in their reading selections.
Finally, don’t forget children are always watching YOU! Are you modeling the joy of reading? Pick up new books at the library for yourself. By setting aside time to read you are demonstrating that reading is a truly a never ending lifelong skill and even hobby.
All in all, the gift of reading starts during pregnancy. It is a priceless investment in your child’s future. It lays the foundation for language skills, cognitive development, emotional bonding, and a lifelong love of learning. Embrace this important role as a parent and caregiver. Give the gift of reading and the benefits can last a lifetime.