We talk a lot on our blog about the importance of reading and early literacy for kids. It builds critical thinking and reasoning, expands the imagination and improves chances for academic success. Reading can carry other important functions as well, however. When you read to your children, try taking the time to educate them about other cultures beyond your own. When you read about new cultures, you will broaden your child’s horizons and take them on journeys that will well prepare them for the world of the future.
We live in an increasingly global society. No longer can we pretend that we are isolated from the rest of the world. As your child grows, they will be exposed to wildly divergent cultures and outlooks. When you read about new cultures with your child, you prepare them for these experiences. This gives them a head start on understanding that not everyone views the world in the same way as they do.
History for many of us was a boring collection of names, dates and events. This is no longer the case. As multicultural collaboration and global awareness become more important, the how and why of history takes on more importance than ever before. Reading to your children about other nations helps them to put history into context by giving them new perspectives on events. They will have an easier time understanding why things happened the way they did, even as they learn that deeper understanding of other cultures can prevent conflict in the future.
Communication and Tradition
Did you ever do a pen pal project in school where you were assigned another student in a different state or nation and got to know them by letter writing? That still goes on, but these days it’s instant, through social media, email, text-based chat and even video chat. Schools are becoming globalized and teaching your child about other cultures through reading helps give them a head start when the time comes to interact with kids from overseas.
Well-Rounded and Open-Minded
These days are a time of major social upheaval. There are different outlooks and cultural norms even within our own nation. The broader your child’s understanding of other cultures, the more they will be able to appreciate and participate in important social movements. Rather than forming opinions from clickbait headlines, they will have a deep appreciation of other values and morals.
Children are more than ever the future of a rapidly changing world. It is vital and imperative that they understand their place in this world, develop a strong identity of who they are and who others are, and why people have the views they do. The best way to prepare children for the future is to start early and read about new cultures. These lessons will give them skills that will stay with them forever.
If you are ready to read about new cultures with your child, why not start with an interactive eBook featuring the story of Hanuman Saves Lakshmana, from India? Then explore the rest of our eBooks and early literacy stories for children!