May 21, 2024

Six Reasons to Start Reading at a Young Age and Continue to Share with Young Readers

Dancing Moose Montessori School
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Six Reasons to Start Reading at a Young Age and Continue to Share with Young Readers

By: Dr. Joyce Sibbet

Reading to children helps them to become successful readers.

Being consistent in reading daily is the foundation of helping children enjoy learning from reading. They will look forward to an opportunity to read and share ideas about what they are reading. It’s ideal to read at the same time each day. If children are close to the same age, they may read together. If they are at different ages, it is best to read with them individually to enjoy books that are at their level. If children choose to read the same book over and over, be patient and let them enjoy the repetition. Their imagination is taking off with each read.

Reading will ideally start as young as infancy. As you point to pictures and talk about what the pictures mean, your infant will be able to relate to your voice and the idea that pictures have significance. Through this process language skills are emerging.

As children become readers themselves, it is still important for you to read with them. Share interest and enthusiasm for books that interest them. It’s an ideal way for you to connect and discuss ideas with your child.

Connecting to ideas in books help our child relate to experiences and feelings in their own lives:

In the book I Will Always Love You, Caroline Pedler, children can relate to the love that they experience as a member of a family. I love reading each page and relating back to family. “I will always love you because you’re my family. Even though I’m very small, I know you’re there for me.”

This a is perfect opportunity to discuss what it means to be there for our children, and when you’re snuggling close as you read the book, your child can literally feel the love.

Taking time to relate and apply knowledge from a book instills good mental notes that children can always draw upon.

Use reading time to bring about new concepts of print that help child understand the importance of words on a page.

Point to words as you read them so that children learn to recognize that words express meaning, follow from left to right, and are read from the top to the bottom of the page. They will be able to notice that letter combinations make up words that are spread apart. Even very young children recognize that pictures and words have different purposes. As you point to words on a page, they quickly learn the significance of how meaning is constructed.

Books bring to light new knowledge.

Eric Carle brings forward understanding of science as well as counting in his book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The caterpillar starts out eating one item, then two, three, through ten. Finally, he eats through a green leaf and is big enough to build a cocoon where he stays for two weeks and becomes a beautiful butterfly.

What an amazing experience to hear the order of numbers, count the objects as the story proceeds, and learn about how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly.

Reading to children is also recognized as a way of strengthening parts of the brain associated with visual imagery, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.

When children hear new ideas expressed in books, they have a stronger vocabulary to draw from for communication. As parents or other caregivers read books, they open opportunities for discussing and building understanding of concepts. Children’s comprehension is also enhanced by the illustrations they enjoy in books.

Keep a library of books around

Even when children haven’t read a book in a long time, they know their books by the cover, and they will be interested in reading them again. As they grow in age, they will grow in their ability to read more independently, which brings them great satisfaction. This may be the time that they would love to read the book to mom, dad, or little brother or sister.

As parents demonstrate enthusiasm for reading and connecting pictures with words on a page, they are building their children’s reading skills and independence.

At the youngest ages of infancy, reading brings satisfaction and a connection with language. At all ages reading with children brings intimate sharing times. Joy comes from the process of reading with parents and extends into the successful reading of children through adulthood.

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May 21, 2024

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