For book lovers, it may seem obvious to share stories with their children. Why would not they pass on their love of letters to them? However, researchers have shown that the benefits of this activity are not limited to the creation of a link but go far beyond, both from the point of view of the adult and that of the child .
Numerous studies have been conducted on the interest of children to participate in reading activities at home. Many of them focus on early childhood and how this literary bath contributes to developing the basic skills of comprehension and expression. Sharing early readings stimulates language development and learning to read, for example.
But this family environment does not lose importance once the children have learned to read. Like parents’ beliefs and behaviors, opportunities for a child to read at home continue to influence their interest in books over the course of their schooling. Here are five ways that common reading can contribute to your child’s overall education.
Open new horizons
Reading with the family helps to instill a love of books from an early age. By taking the time to turn the pages of a book with their child, adults help them to consider reading as a pleasure and not a chore. Some children read because they like to do it, others because they get rewards – like stickers in a school reading journal, among others. Children reading for pleasure read more books in more varied styles. Giving your child the taste of books helps him to broaden his horizons.
Children evaluate their own reading skills by observing their classmates and talking to their parents and teachers. By sharing a story and encouraging their children as they read, parents can help their children develop what is called the sense of self-efficacy – the way you think about their ability to do something.
It has been proven that this self-efficacy plays on the ability to recognize words. Children who think they can not read will be less likely to get started, but with well-targeted compliments as they read, parents can help them believe in their own skills.
Develop positive attitudes
Research has shown that the more opportunities children have to engage in writing activities at home, the more positive their attitude towards reading is. Children are more likely to read in their spare time if another family member reads regularly, creating a community they feel they belong to.
Parents’ beliefs and actions play on their children’s personal motivations for reading, which is certainly a twofold one – parents are more likely to offer reading activities to their children if they know that They have appreciated them in the past.
Extend their vocabulary
Through these shared readings, children are exposed to various language registers. This is a very important aspect in these early stages of writing awareness. After all, language development is the foundation of reading and expression skills, and this language bath is one of the essential benefits.
These early readings can have long-term benefits by expanding the vocabulary of the younger ones. If they meet a word they do not understand, they have an adult with them who can explain it to them in an accessible way. When telling stories to children who are learning to read, it can improve their knowledge of the alphabet, their decoding and spelling skills, and make them more familiar with the use of books. The simple act of pronouncing the letters of a word they do not know can help them to progress.
Gain ease with writing
By reading a story to a child, we will modulate the intonations, the rhythm of the story and take breaks – and therefore respect what is called prosody. This is not a skill that is explicitly taught, but if you need to stop in the narrative or change your tone, you can help your child become more fluent in reading aloud. That’s why it’s not an activity for kindergarten students. On the contrary, showing the complexity of this interpretive work is useful for children of all ages.
There is no need for much money or even free time to read with your children. Even small efforts can have significant effects. And it is not imperative to book this activity at bedtime. Sharing a book, a magazine or a comic strip can be done at any time of the day.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you have to have fun. Interest in books emerges over good times spent together. Demonstrating your interest and investing in this activity can have a huge impact on how your children will appropriate it.
Author Bio: Emma Vardy is a Research Associate, Psychology of Education at Coventry University