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Reading to Children - Why it is vital to read aloud to your children

By Edited Jun 27, 2016 0 1

Baby being read to

starting young...

baby being read to
Credit: morguefile

Reading to your kids

Why it is vital to read aloud to your children

Reading to your kids…is there an app for that?  Isn’t there some way I can outsource it?  As parents we have all had that moment; kids are washed, teeth cleaned, calm and sleepy.  You are looking forward to that glass of wine calling your name in the fridge, and the latest episode of Breaking Bad. (okay, okay it’s Legally Blonde for the 14th time, a guilty pleasure!).

“Daddy can I have a story?” asks your oldest, your response…

Hopefully it’s “yes of course you can!”  It could be one of the most vital decisions you make for your kids.  A love of literature, encouraged by a child’s parents is perhaps the single most important factor in their educational development.  More important than extra Math tuition, foreign language workshops and pseudo-educational children’s television, a love of reading will stand your child in great stead for a bright educational future. 

 

Time for you to bond

Taking the time to lie next to your son or daughter in bed and enjoy a book is some of the most precious time that you can spend together.  From when they are young you are the person who unlocks this magical world of dragons, princesses, hungry geese and Gruffalos to your child.  The time is there, it’s ten minutes less on Facebook or watching ads on TV, but trust me, it’s there.  Just try your best not to fall asleep with the kids!

 

Which book?

Children’s books vary wildly in every sense, including quality.  The main thing is that you read a variety of different books, about different things.  Fiction and Non-Fiction, Fantasy and those ’stories with a point to make’, good and bad, it doesn’t matter!  This process helps your children to establish an opinion about what they read, and develop favourites.  It is this move from being a passive consumer of information,  to an active and avid reader that is so important for their future.

Couch Potato in Training...

...although I guess he is choosing the channel!

boy watching tv
Credit: freestockphotos

A great way to encourage independent reading...

LeapFrog TAG Reading System, compatible with the older style, Green
Amazon Price: $67.49 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 27, 2016)
I have found that this product has really helped my son (4) to love reading independently, it has some awesome reviews and he loves it!

Reading in their own

Eventually, your children will not want you to sit at the end of their bed, try not to fall asleep and read them their favourite story, so how do you transition from paired reading like bedtime stories, to reading for pleasure independently.  My eldest son is in early stages of beginning to read alone and I find that products such as the Leapfrog TAG Reading System have really helped him become more independent in his reading.  Of course, there is no substitute for asking how a word is read and what it means, but for a stubbornly independent boy, a little bit of automatic encouragement can only be a positive thing. 

Reading to your children is one of the most overwhelmingly positive things that you can do for them, as an educator, I see the difference every day that this makes to their attainment in school and their social interaction.  Do not outsource it, there isn’t an app for that, do it yourself, but most of all, enjoy it! …and don’t fall asleep. 

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Comments

Dec 16, 2014 6:20am
OrlaClancy
My father did this for us, and I'm so glad he did. We had Winnie-the-Pooh (he also sang the songs), the Little House books, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory AND Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (always followed by several days of calling other kids in the class 'Vermicious Knids' which confused the nuns no end because they didn't know what that meant!), The Trumpet of the Swan, Charlotte's Web, to name but a few. Later I decided to read on my own, and in my thirties was overjoyed to discover Harry Potter. Unfortunately my father died just before the first books of the series became popular, which is a pity, he'd have LOVED them.
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