As parents, there are many positive values, skills and traits we want to inculcate to them. These are not just to life and social skills, but also in the academic field. Children already have the propensity write by making doodles and drawings at an early age. Thus, teaching them how to write can be a breeze and sometimes, all we can teach them is to improve their penmanship or the legibility of their writing. Reading however, can be a different story. Children learn speech and articulation as early as 2 years old, but the age for this milestone can vary from child to child. Reading with your child can serve a lot of purposes aside from teaching them the value of reading.
For one, reading can teach your child to be familiar with word pronunciation and spelling. Although reading with your child is recommended when he or she has developed basic reading skills and can identify simple words, there is actually no limit to the age in which you can read together with your child. Even if they have not yet reached the reading age but have reached the talking stage, they can already appreciate and enjoy book reading with you. They can actively participate in reading by letting them turn the pages over and guiding their hands to point every word you are reading. The do not necessarily have to know the spellings of the words yet, but letting them know how a word is pronounced by reading aloud is enough. Be sure to exercise your vocabulary as children can be quite inquisitive with words that are unfamiliar to them. Come up with simple explanations and definitions for the words that they want to know the meaning.
For children who are at the reading stage, reading with them can be fun and educational at the same time. You can set a regular schedule for reading with your child aside from bedtime storytelling. The scheduled reading session need not be long; 5–15 minutes is enough for your child. With someone to read along and guide them, they can learn the spellings and pronunciations of words that are new to them by listening to us read and spell it out for them.
Reading with your child can help them develop critical thinking and critical reading. Critical thinking is the ability to think intensively about a topic and giving profound inputs about it. This is a skill that cannot be learned and developed quickly. In reading with your child, it is gradually developed and built by reading quality books with them and engaging them in fruitful discussions about the book. Critical reading is a slow and deliberate type of reading which allows for reflection and development of reading argument. When reading with your child, take time to help him or her to develop the ability to make deeper examination of certain story by asking them questions about the story, the character, the setting and the plot. This skill can also take time to develop and with the proper guidance, can be a wonderful skill your child can have.
Reading can also improve your child’s vocabulary. When you can effectively and correctly give the meaning of a word they want to know the meaning of, they will be sure to retain that knowledge and expand their mind’s repository of words and meaning. In a way, we parents are also challenged to improve our own vocabulary to be ready for this challenge.
Reading together with your child can strengthen your parent–child bonding. You and your child can get closer with each other by making regular joint reading activities and keeping them engaged through questions and discussions about the book you both have just read. When learning becomes fun, the possibilities and opportunities in the future of your child can be limitless and within reach. So read with your child and start to do wonders for their future.