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Things You Need To Know About Early Reading Today

 

What is early reading?

Early reading or baby reading is basically, an introduction of reading skills at a young age. A practice that is aimed at increasing the vocabulary of your child at a young age. This is a habit which when inculcated early on, will continue to reap benefits for your child, for years to come.

 

Why is early reading important?

Studies have shown that children with better literacy skills before joining school are 70% more likely to graduate. This is because reading is the foundation of all formal education.  As parents, you want what is best for your child, which includes a good education. But you might want to understand if early reading is really the best way forward for your child. My aim here is to provide you a greater awareness about baby reading. At the same time, I also wish to assuage any of your doubts regarding the same. Therefore listed below are some of the benefits of early reading.

Broadly speaking, experts have categorized the benefits of early reading into 5 sub-groups – Neurological, Educational, Psychological, Social and Linguistic.

 

Neurological Benefits

  • Reading actually helps develop your child’s brain.
  • The quality and quantity of language that your child hears in his or her first three years add to their cognitive development.
  • Your child’s interactions with language in his or her earliest years lays the foundation for their ability to read and comprehend later on.
  • As you read to your child, the links that exist between brain cells are reinforced and new links are formed.
  • The process of learning to read influences the functioning and development of your child’s brain in a major way.
  • The child in his or her first six years learns at a much faster pace than at any other time in their lives. Thereby, this is an ideal time to inculcate reading skills.
  • This also is the best time frame to instill the true love for reading.

 

Educational Benefits

  • Through multiple studies, it has come to light that oral language skills are the foundation for the development of literacy.
  • By teaching your child to read at an early age, you are able to expand their vocabulary and general knowledge. This ultimately aids in their reading skills.
  • It will also help your child to improve his or her attention spans as well as have better concentration.
  • Think about it. If your child is proficient in reading, it enables him or her, understand their surroundings better. As they are enabled to learn from and about their environment quicker. Now your child doesn’t need a ‘world translator’.
  • Longitudinal studies have inferred that early readers tend to achieve higher grades all through grade school.

 

Psychological Reasons

  • If your child learns to read at an early age, you will notice a growth in self-confidence and independence. This is because the environment provided at home by the home is a loving and carefree. Which allows your child to learn at his or her pace. Wouldn’t you want that for your child? Why leave it till their school starts? With the constant pressure to perform, children tend to become introvert and shy. But with early reading, your child reads according to their pace allowing them to enjoy it rather than avoid it.
  • Baby reading also promotes the following things at an early age, making them a lifelong habit for your child
  • More maturity
  • Increased discipline
  • Greater curiosity
  • Better problem-solving techniques.
  • A vivid sense of creativity and imagination.

 

Social Benefits

  • As an early reader, your child will be able to relate to his or her peers in a more confident manner.
  • With increased competency in reading, your child will experience accolades. This increases his or her social standing among peers.
  • Also, helps increase his or her self-image and self-confidence.

 

Linguistic Benefits

  • Early reading enables your child to have improved linguistic skills. What does this mean you ask? It means your child will have a richer vocabulary, correct grammar, improved writing, and better spelling. As well as be more articulate in form of oral communication.
  • Your child will be enabled to communicate far more effectively orally as well as in writing.
  • When your child reads stories, he or she will encounter new words, words that are not used in daily communication by your family. This added vocabulary with a lot of affirmations contributes to your child’s self-esteem.
  • Researchers Hart and Risley found that the children exposed to more words and affirming content had larger vocabularies as well as a greater sophisticated verbal and literacy skills.

 

Another way to categorize the benefits of early reading is based on the age of your child. As your child grows, the act of reading will affect his or her development in different ways.

 

Babies 

Infants begin learning right from birth. Your newborn is learning new sounds and sights every single day. Babies are especially keen on hearing you the parent’s voice. When you talk, read, sing or even coo at your baby, it provides a sense comfort. It also acts as a stimulation to help develop your baby’s brain. You can already start by using stimulation cards to your babies.  This is to build your child’s eye sight at the age of 3-6 months.  Then, you can already start to introduce basic words using flash cards.  Read to your child as often as possible.  Ten minutes a day is all you need to do this.

 

Toddlers 

As your baby transitions from a new born to a toddler, his or her capacity to focus increases. Your toddler learns to develop socially, emotionally and intellectually at this stage. By introducing the habit of early reading, an activity to do with you, you cultivate solid bonds with your child. This activity helps you to provide a comforting and safe environment for learning. This is the first stages of your child beginning to interact with you. And early reading provides a solid foundation for you to build your child’s communication at a young age. Continue reading to your child every day.  Just make sure that your kid is happy when you read to him.  You can introduce phonics at this stage.

 

Pre-schoolers

At preschool-age, your child is just stepping into the education system. Don’t you think it will benefit your child tremendously if he or she is capable of basic communication?  An early reader will be more confident in such a foreign environment and will be better able to adapt. This is also a great time for them to interact with their peers. As a pre-schooler, your child will now spend some time away learning and interacting without you present. So being self-confident definitely helps your child thrive better. Some kids, before entering the nursery stage, can already read.  My son is one of them.  Because I exposed him to lots of reading when he was still a baby.  That’s why I believed in early reading because I tried it with my son.

 

What can you as parents do?

It is one thing to know about the benefits of early reading it is completely different when it comes to inculcating this habit. Obliviously you want what is best for your child. But how do you know you are not overwhelming your child? What is the best way to start this practice? I’m sure there are plenty of such questions going around in your mind. So listed below are a few things that you can do, as well as some don’ts to avoid.

  • You can help your child develop reading skills during regular activities like reading simple labels as you go for shopping. Reading easy words in the newspaper. An activity that is part of your daily routine.
  • You can also do planned play reading times. Mostly like night time reading. A bedtime story that you read with your child every day. Make it fun for your kids, do voices and make it interactive. This will help your child associate reading to enjoyment and fun. This also is a great bonding experience.
  • When your child is in preschool you can do the following:
    • Allow your child to name objects, people, and events in the everyday environment.
    • Repeat your child’s strings of sounds and then add to them.
    • Talk to your child during routine activities and encourage them to ask questions.
    • Draw your child’s attention to written word, from signs to labels.
    • A cool way to introduce new vocabulary is encouraging learning on vacations and holidays.
    • It is best if you allow your child to describe their day in their own words. Allow them to express themselves.

Do’s

  • You should read in front of your children. Set a good example for your kids
  • Find age-appropriate books that will be easy for your child to comprehend.

Don’ts

  • You should not push your child too hard when they are learning to read.
  • Don’t give your children reading assignments. This will take out the enjoyment in the activity.

 

Listed above were just a few of the things you can keep in mind when it comes to early reading for your child. This definitely does not provide everything there is on early reading. But it is a good place to start for all you overwhelmed parents. Use this as a cheat book. All the important details in one place and you can have look anytime.

Remember each child is different and everyone learns at a different pace. Just gauge your children’s receptivity to reading and respond accordingly. The aim here is to inculcate a habit that stays with them throughout their life. It is not a means to academic success, instead of a way to provide the holistic living for your child.

The bottom line makes reading time a bonding time with your kids and not a chore that is stressful to your kids.