This weeks Friday Feature Writer, unfortunately was delayed due to my May 5th event in Lodi...but hopefully, she will forgive me. If not, I'll just tell our Mom.
You see, she is my sister Laura (I call her Lori, and at one time Yo-Yo) She writes a colum on child development and advice to parents on parenting issues for Examiner.com. She has been working in the Early Childhood Education field for twenty years, is a mother of four, has a grandson and is a cancer survivor. She has done many things in her life that she is proud of...but to me she is my sister, and one of my greatest heroes.
As a teacher of young children, I would like to address the importance of parents reading to their children. This is a real opportunity for parents to be able to spend special time with their children as well as being able to enhance their reading abilities. Encouraging the pleasure in reading can enrich a child’s learning through the connection of a favorite story that helps your child understand situations that they are experiencing such as starting school, or some major event change in their life.
Much of the way children learn to read is by hearing words read to them and how they are put together to make the story. Reading is more than just saying the words; it is how the words are said to give meaning. The more a child is read to the better understanding they get on how to read. Ever notice how a child likes to hear the same book read over and over, and then they will try and read the book themselves saying the words from memory. This is okay because they are saying the words the way they should be read. They can pick up on the rhythm and tone that gives expression to words. This is a big part of understanding the concept and ideas of a story. Reading to your children enhances their vocabulary so they can express their own thoughts more clearly. With this skill they will be able develop the skill of writing and perhaps become a budding author themselves.
Positive effects that reading to your children has are the appreciation for books, and what can be learned from them. One thing I tell my students is if you know how to read, you can learn to do anything. Books also give inspiration for success and empowerment in life. They will also develop the ability to understand the concept of applying logic to conflict situations and recognize cause and effect to solve a problem. Your child can also develop the ability for longer concentration and self discipline, memory retention and to sit longer for story time without being distracted. The greatest benefit for your child is a higher aptitude for learning that will increase their ability to understand the concepts of math, science and social concepts skills that are essential once your child enters elementary school.
Another great thing about reading is that it doesn’t have to cost anything. A trip to your local library gives you not only an outing but, also access to whatever subject of reading interest you. Most public libraries offer many reading programs for children, such as a story time for pre-school, book clubs for school-age, and teen center discussions. Thinking back to when my children were young some of the best moments with them were going to the library, letting each of them pick several books and then taking them home and reading every one. As they got older we would take turns reading to each other or play a game called a read-a-round, in which each person would take a turn in reading a page or chapter. Books are a powerful tool in which to enhance your child’s literacy development and reading to your child is an important part of that development.