Children will show real interest towards books, reading and learning later on, if their parents expose them to reading aloud and to an environment that promotes the written language through posters with words and corresponding images, for example.
Several developmental studies confirm that the more and earlier a child is spoken to, the richer his/her vocabulary will be by the age of three. Thus, children who receive more attention, more one-on-one time with their parents and who are read aloud to from an early age, have better chances to develop cognitive skills and a good memory, to build motivation and curiosity – all of which are essential for getting ready to start reading and writing on their own.
Unfortunately, there are many parents out there who still believe that a child’s reading program starts when he/she is old enough to go to school. What they do not know is that this kind of behavior puts their child at a real disadvantage.
Taking into account that parents are practically responsible for the child’s future and success in life, it is strongly recommended that they start by acknowledging the vital importance of early reading. Also, there are several things that they can do to improve the reading aloud experience or even to replace it with equally enjoyable alternatives:
· If you are too tired to read the children a story one night, TV watching is not a good replacement. Instead you can buy them online audio children’s books that they can listen to every time you work late or don’t have the energy to read aloud.
· Children’s books always have illustrations to go along with every page and one can easily understand why: to stimulate imagination and curiosity. You can stimulate them further by not reading the ending and by brainstorming together with your children possible ending ideas.
· It is very important that children see the pages of the book as you read them. You can even show them from time to time where is the word that you are currently reading or just follow the written lines from beginning to end with the tip of the finger or a crayon while reading them. In this way, children will slowly start associating certain sounds to corresponding letters, and groups of sounds to words. This process will enable them learn the alphabet easier.
· Perfect pronunciation when reading is crucial for learning to reproduce words correctly and for identifying them in a text later on.