Many of us face the daily struggle of trying to fill every moment of our children’s lives with something of value–taking them to school, dropping them off at after – school classes, or sitting through music lessons and the like. And when that’s through, it’s back to the house where, besides trying to put a nutritious dinner on the table, you also face the nightly whirlwind of worksheets, oral reports, and required reading.
In all of this bustle of activity, reading aloud to our children often gets pushed to the wayside–a thing of the pre-school past when you had fewer activities and therefore more time to focus on sitting down to read a good book or two. And now with it being summer, that slight window of opportunity of having a sliver of more time to spend together (after summer camp and swim lessons that is), you think about taking the time to read aloud again.
The following is a reminder of why it is so important that you revisit this habit. According to reachoutandread.org, an evidence-based, non-profit organization of medical providers who promote literacy for young children, “reading aloud helps children acquire early language skills.”
In fact, it’s the single most essential activity that leads to language development. And if that’s not enough, it also aids children in building word-sound awareness, a powerful predictor of success in reading. Taking the time to set up a nurturing environment of one-on-one time and reading aloud helps foster positive associations with reading and books that will help later in life. Not only that, but it is through reading out loud that children hear rare words, phrases, and information that they may not acquire anywhere else.
So this summer when you catch an extra moment of downtime, pick up that book and read aloud to your child–there are plenty of reasons not to drop it.