I recalled one sunny afternoon sitting at home in the Sunshine State. I felt like a volcano was being erupted from my stomach. I thought perhaps I had contracted the flu. After a few days I decided to look further into these moments of motion sickness. Only to discover that my wonderful husband and I had made our dreams of being parents a reality.
Some may say I was being prescient, but I have been reading to our son since he was merely a zygote. I recall my husband laughing. He thought it was funny, but cute. The stage of development at that point was immaterial. After all, I had a life growing inside.
It is with deep pleasure that I share that today, at age five, my son is an avid reader. He spells words that I am not ashamed to say, at eight years old, or a tad bit older, I would have found challenging. So would most eight-year-olds.
Whenever I sit down to read with my son, we don’t just read to read; we read with a purpose, and he enjoys it.
Parents, I am not here to sell you on the idea that reading to your children at conception will gain or motivate their interests in reading. The two may even be unrelated.
I am simply sharing my perspective on the importance of reading.
I am very mindful of the fact that sometimes with our busy schedule it may seem like a daunting task, but 15 minutes a day will go a far way.
I do have a very hectic schedule myself, so I can totally relate. However, we take 15 minutes out of our schedule on a daily basis to have what we like to call “a reading session” with our five year old. It is a great and rewarding experience. Our son does build a stronger relationship with us during this time as well.
I can affirm that when our son was born, he was not “connate with reading”. Neither were your children. But we have instilled such positive practices in him by making reading a part of our everyday lives.
There are countless reasons why it is pertinent to encourage your children to read every day. These reasons are not only vital to your child’s academic excellence, but they are crucial to their literacy level in and out of the classroom.
So what other compelling reasons should you have to read with your child every day?
1. As they grow, their mastery of language is extremely important. Beginning kindergarten with the key fundamentals is an essential path to success.
2. There is a social benefit. Have you ever visited a children’s section at your local library? Notice how fascinated the kids are with the books, while taking the time to observe each other and their selections. It brings them together in a positive way, teaching them how to behave appropriately, sitting quietly to listen to story- telling and so forth.
3. Clean and productive fun. Reading is a great opportunity for children to try their hands at some fun, while being productive. I advertise the joy of reading within my household. Therefore, before I even say on your mark, get ready, my son runs to his play room to get his book. He does not even wait for me to say go. FUN! FUN! FUN!
4. Making use of the mind. It is distressingly bad to waste the mind.
5. Blooming into adult literacy. As cute and adorable as our children are, they will not stay that way forever. They do grow up. Unfortunately, there are too many adults lacking the minimum literacy skills. Do not let your child join this group.
Read with your child today, and let literacy be a vehicle for their future and identity.
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