What does the magic of reading to your children have to do with them learning to read?

It is often emphasised that parents should read to their children from as young as 1 year old.

Firstly simple exposure to reading increases the likely hood that a child will develop prerequisite skills for reading (Abraham & Gram, 2009).

Furthermore, reading encourages the use of thinking skills, helps develop concentration and expands the readers’ vocabulary.

“Children who have been read to in childhood are more motivated to learn to read, and they appreciate that reading is a gateway to new ideas” – Abraham & Gram Reading: Breaking Through the Barriers, 2009 p.12

What are these prerequisite skills for reading you may ask?

  • How to hold a book and turn the pages.
  • That words on a page have meaning.
  • That reading is done from left to right and top to bottom.
  • An expanding vocabulary
  • An appreciation for the sounds of words.

What can parents do help develop these skills?

  1. Read
  2. Read and
  3. Read aloud, every day or night to your child.
  4. Have fun with rhyming words
  5. Get them to repeat lines
  6. Guess what will happen next in the book?

“Few children learn to read books by themselves. Someone has to lure them into the wonderful world of the written word; someone has to show them the way”.

-Orville Prescott, A Father Reads to His Children

Sharleen Newcombe

Learning and Support Teacher

2013

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