Read to Them and Let them Read

(Some rights reserved, David D via Flickr Creative Commons)

A few days ago, Little Pim shared some great ways to make snow days fun, and we’ve certainly had a wonderful time picking out family-friendly winter movies to watch while curled up on the couch together. But here’s another idea: read your children a book.

Reading to kids is a great way to bond, but more than this, reading to them can have great benefits for their education. According to research discussed by the USA’s National Education Association, children who are read to not only develop stronger reading skills, but stronger language skills as well, with kids who read or are read to at home having better reading proficiency and even higher math scores. Parents who are trying to help their kids learn a new language through Little Pim may actually find that reading to their kids in the language they wish for them to learn can be of great benefit, as research has shown that reading aloud is great way to help them recognize the sound patterns of the language being used. As children are exposed to more of the language, so too do they learn how to formulate different sentences and learn how to use the words they are learning.

This is also supported by research discussed by UNESCO, who state that reading is one of the most effective ways to encourage systemic language development, and that “At a higher level and with longer texts, the comprehension of relationships, of construction or structure, and interpretation of the context, becomes more significant.”

The only problem is that, for many of today’s kids, reading can seem like a boring activity. Contending with gadgets and TV shows and cartoons these days can be difficult, but parents should find that encouraging their kids to read can be much easier depending on their mindset. In an interview he did with childrenswear manufacturing brand Tootsa MacGinty, preschool teacher James Ross said that the best way to get kids to enjoy reading and writing is to, “Be positive and enthusiastic yourself! Children are like sponges: if you delight in reading with/to your children (or at least for their sake pretend that you do!) it will be a fun experience for you both. Children love stories, so try to weave them into everything they see and do. Make sure that they enjoy reading and writing and don’t see it as a chore. Praise them for effort… and persevere!” And because children respond to different teaching methods differently, he also adds, “If you have a really reluctant reader, don’t think of books as the only option. Put subtitles on when they watch films; comics or simple worded picture books work too. Find a format and context that works for your child.”

It’s great practice to read to your kids every day, and if you want to start reading to your kids this winter, you can check out Common Sense Media’s list of 50 books your kids should read before they're 12.

Exclusive for Little Pim Written by BeingMommy