We talk a great deal about how important it is to read to your young child. Reading is shown to increase educational capabilities and success, and improve essential early development skills. Many parents still are dismissive of these ideas, however. They challenge whether there is actually science behind these claims. The answer is that yes, there is science involved. If you’re wondering how reading helps, here is a look at the scientific benefits of reading to your child.
Stimulating the Brain
The first three years for your child are some of the most important developmental years of their entire life. This is the period when their brain’s language center develops, making trillions of connections as the child absorbs information. Never again will their brain grow quite so fast. A child’s vocabulary quadruples from the time they begin speaking through their second year.
Reading to your child during this time, exposing them to books and language games have been proven to stimulate this brain growth. Reading helps build vocabulary, language and desire to learn. This in turn leads to greater success in the future.
Vocabulary and Success
Research also proves that vocabulary is directly tied to academic success. Children with a greater vocabulary upon entering kindergarten are tied to future learning ability and success. Children who know at least four nursery rhymes by heart, by the time they are four years old, will be better readers by the time they turn eight.
Lower Income Problems
There is a very real gap between children of lower income families and others. Kids from lower income areas tend to be exposed to fewer words and develop less of a love for reading. Since children who fall behind are often likely to remain behind, it is especially vital for parents in low-income families to make a concerted effort to read to their children every day, to make sure they are exposed to books, stories and nursery rhymes.
What Can I Do?
Certainly not everyone has access to an extensive personal library at home. This does not, however, have to be a barrier to learning and education for your child. Most communities have early literacy programs and public libraries available. Take some time to visit the library! Not only will you have access to thousands of books, but learning programs and Internet access where you can access other learning and literacy tools.
Stop in and ask the librarian what children’s reading programs are going on at the moment. From toddler story times to youth book clubs and even maker programs, you might be surprised at all of the great and exciting resources are available.
It’s never too late to start reading to your child. Even if you are not a great reader, there are options available, such as interactive electronic books. Take some time to explore the free e-books we offer, and then look at our site for even more great reading games and fun. Remember, it is never too late to start getting your kid loving reading.