Readingwith our kids is a piece of advice we hear from everyone, from our doctors, totheir teachers, to our parents.
There is a reason why the advice is given and abetter reason why we should be following it. It is a simple act at the end ofthe night that can have a huge impact on our children’s lives. Reading can have benefits that extend totheir self-esteem to their school success. It will even have a positive impact on your relationship with eachother. While this small gesture can beeasily overlooked because of our busy lives, this small, simple act can have ahuge effect on our children’s lives. Accordingto both The Melbourne Institute of AppliedEconomics and Social Research and The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, literacyand numeracy skills increase in children who are read to three to five times aweek. Avid readers perform better. Oneof the main reasons is the number of words the child knows.
The better the student understands theteacher and the lesson, the better the student will perform. Reading to your child expands their vocabulary which willexpand their views and different ways of thinking which will help improve theirconfidence. Understanding what is beingsaid is just part of their education process, knowing how to reiterate back tothe teacher is the next step. Thefrustration of not being able to find the words to say what they want will nolonger be a struggle. They will feel smart and confident. As the success in school grows, so will theirself-confidence. Too often we make reading a chore, especially no with all thetechnology that is available. Kids wouldrather watch a YouTube video of the subject than read about it.
In fact, many teachers are incorporatingvideos into the lesson plans as supplements to enforce the subject. But as parents we must find a way to makereading exciting and enjoyable.When I was growing up, I did not have YouTube, Facebook,streaming networks, IPads, smartphones, and every other bit of technology thattakes the written word to an action-based world. I recently introduced my daughter to the gameZorn, which, for those who are not familiar, is a completely text-basedgame. There are no graphics, nopictures, no sounds, no exciting fight scenes. It starts with “You stand at the edge of a town. There is a road leading N, S, or E.
What will you do?” Or in the forest exploring, “You are in aforest. Which way would you like to go? N. That way is blocked. You are in aforest. What way would you like to go? E. You go East.
You see a Troll. What would you like to do? Attack Troll. Attack Troll with what? Attack troll with Hammer.” I think you get the idea. My daughter, and depending on your age, andyou, may find this to be completely boring and a waste of time. I was already a book worm at this time, butgames like Zorn and Wizards and Warriors strengthened my love of the writtenword.
Showing my daughter how fun thewritten word was for me, gave her an understanding of how I my love of readingstarted. I’d like to take a moment tostate she did started liking Wizards and Warriors after the second game. But, it is up to us as parents, to find that joy for ourchildren. Read your favorite books outloud to them and share your joy with them.
I’m able to read to them books that are above their grade level. Read the book they are currently reading soyou can talk about it together – even if it means you must read about twinklingvampires. Reading together is a bondingexperiences between you and your child. It is an experience that just the two of you are sharing together, theexcitement, the fear, the sadness, just as the characters in the book areexperiencing them. By making this partfun, the school readings won’t be such a chore.One ofthe most important jobs as parent is to provide our children with the toolsnecessary to grow into a wonderful person. Books offer situations, so ourchildren can learn what to do if they find themselves in similarsituations. We may never find ourselvesbesieged by Smaug while wearing the One Ring, but the book, 13 Reasons Why brought bullying,depression, rape, drinking, and suicide into the conversation.
For some families, for the very firsttime. Reading offers valuableeducational, social and emotional learning tools that research has shown willprovide your child a strong foundation to grow. Five minutes of reading a nightcan make a pretty big difference, for your child, and for you.