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The Priceless Benefits of Reading to Your Child

By Guest Writer Jane Sandwood

Do you know how good reading is for you and your child? Whether you are an adult who enjoys cuddling up with a good novel after a long day, or you are a parent looking to give your children new perspectives, reading encourages the sharing of knowledge in a positive, motivated way. Besides allowing inspiration to grow and creativity to develop, reading expands our knowledge of the world, other cultures, and language.

Reading, particular reading out loud, to children is an excellent way to build their vocabulary and nourish their budding imaginations. Findings in The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study showed that children who were read to at least three times per week were more likely to decode words in kindergarten than other students. For children to succeed in school and develop a strong vocabulary, reading is therefore integrative and essential. For parents, it is crucial to facilitate the activity at home to bestow upon children the many other benefits of reading, such as:

Developing a love of books

Children who love to read are more likely to be more knowledgeable in certain areas of school, like spelling, writing, and critical thinking. This is why developing their love for books at a young age will be a constructive lifelong hobby that they can always turn to for inspiration and entertainment. Reading a long story out loud to your child each night can allow them to create entire worlds in their minds before they go to sleep, which in turn will help them fall in love with storytelling.

Teaching the power of empathy

Books are the perfect way for your child to imagine his or her life through the eyes of someone else. This practice of looking at the world through another’s eyes is the path to acquiring empathy for people of different races, genders, and cultures. Your children will become more accepting and open-minded by reading a variety of books, making reading all the more important to their development into a well-rounded person.

Expanding their horizons of culture

It is true that growing up in a small American town can be very insular, and many children may not understand how multi-faceted and massive the world is without the help of reading. By gifting your child with new stories and new worlds to inhabit, they can begin to develop their points of view and engage in worldly considerations about cultural and social matters.

Spending time each day reading out loud to your child before bedtime will bring with it a range of crucial life lessons that will help them to develop into a smart, thoughtful individual with a thriving imagination.