With no research to back me up, I have always thought that the single most important thing you could do with/for your child is to read to them. I thought that if your child could learn to read, read well, and love reading, she/he could go almost anywhere and learn anything. I wanted my children to be life-long readers and learners. After all Jim and I both came from parents who were avid readers. Our parents shared the love of reading with us and we wanted to pass it along.
Turns out I was right. There are many reasons to read to your child. Here are three from The Science of Learning Blog (http://www.scilearn.com/blog/why-you-should-read-with-your-child).
- Reading exposes your child to rich language and diverse content
- Reading with your child helps prepare them for school
- Reading with your child can enrich your ties to her/him
Guess which one is my favorite? When I was writing up the book for Elijah, I remembered all the times my girls and I snuggled up for a good read. How cozy and comforting it was for both of us to be in our snuggery¹ (usually a girl’s bed at bed time, after a bath) and share a story. It was a precious time for me, even on the nights when one or the other would have to wake me as I had fallen asleep reading a page. I hope when Elijah is grown, he remembers the way it felt to snuggle with his Mama or his Daddy, while he listened to one of their sweet voices reading him to sleep.
Here’s a bit of doggerel, I wrote once upon a time for a child to her/his parent.
Read to me a story about seasons or adventures or mystery.
Read to me! Fill my imagination with sights, sounds, and smells.
Read to me about places I’ll never go and wonders I might never see.
Read to me before a cozy fire all snuggled up on the sofa.
Read to me when I am drowsy and abed.
Read to me under the starry sky by flashlight.
Read to me a story every night to celebrate our day!
Read to me, please, I know you are tired.
Read to me and rest. Put away your hustle and bustle.
Read to me and rest and share your heart and a story with me!
Should you want to know more about the importance of reading aloud to children (aside from my humble opinion), check out these resources.
- Why read aloud to children: http://www.trelease-on-reading.com/read-aloud-brochure.pdf
- Importance of Reading Aloud: http://www.reachoutandread.org/why-we-work/importance-of-reading-aloud/
- 10 Reasons Why You Should Read to Your Kids: https://www.earlymoments.com/promoting-literacy-and-a-love-of-reading/why-reading-to-children-is-important/