Why is reading to young children important? And how can you help your child become a successful and motivated reader? I will discuss the findings of a scientific study to provide research-based insights in the importance of shared reading.
Importance of reading to your child
If you read frequently to your young child, you provide experiences for him/her that facilitate the process of learning to read. For example, shared reading fosters:
- Phonological sensitivity and awareness: being able to identify individual sounds in words
- A richer vocabulary: learning more words
- Story understanding: being able to understand what has been read
- Function and structure of print and sound-print relations: being able to connect letters with sounds
Shared reading has long term educational benefits
This scientific study investigated the effects of reading to young children and found that:
- Children of mothers who engaged in more reading time, had higher reading achievement and reading motivation during their school years.
- Higher reading achievement and reading motivation were related to higher educational outcomes later in life.
So, reading to children during their early years can provide educational benefits in the long term. You can help your child become a successful and motivated reader if you engage in shared reading from infancy on.
- Read to your child, from infancy on. Use age-appropriate books.
- Try to frequently read to your child. For example, engage in shared reading every night before your child goes to bed or read stories to your child several times per week.
- Enjoy the special experiences of reading with your child. Have fun!
Gottfried, A. W., Schlackman, J., Gottfried, A. E., & Boutin-Martinez, A. S. (2015). Parental provision of early literacy environment as related to reading and educational outcomes across the academic lifespan. Parenting, 15(1), 24-38.