One night, about a half hour before bedtime, I told Bruce to get ready for bed and I will read a story to him. At seven years old he is usually excited to hear a story, so he immediately brushed his teeth and got his pj’s on.
He picked out a book by A.J. Whey with several stories of Curious George and he looked in the table of contents for the two that I would read to him, since he picked this same book last night.
As I began to read, his brother Andy, who is ten years old and a very avid reader, sat down with us to listen in. Then our 12 year old Stanley came and snuggled in on my other side.
These are boys that have read many higher level “chapter” books like Harry Potter. In fact Andy has read all seven of them at least twice so they enjoy reading silently, but kids absolutely LOVE to be read to. If the story is enjoyable their age is irrelevant and it doesn’t matter if they heard it many times before. We have read this very same book to all of our kids, in fact, when I was a kid, my mom used to read Curious George to me!
Kids really love being read to. Books stimulate the imagination and provide closeness that is so necessary to the young child’s growth. They learn words, pronunciation and communication better and sooner and they learn to like books and will more likely become readers if read to a lot. What better way to bond and connect with your kids than reading with a mother or father? Start reading to them when they are young and do it at least a few times per week, if not every night, for as long as they will let you and are willing to listen.
It has long been said, readers are leaders. I believe this is very true. Even though many people, especially the younger generation, read much less than us, it remains to be a fast and efficient method of learning for those who can to do it well. On the other hand reading can be painful and difficult if they never learn how to read well.
With this in mind, make it a point to get your little ones interested in reading from a very young age. Read to them, have them read to you when they are in k through 1st or 2nd grade age and always have plenty of appropriate books available to them.
Here’s the way I see it: With all the benefits of reading, all parents should make sure their kids learn to do it well. Here are just a few:
1. Reading reduces stress.
2. Readers become leaders and as leaders they have more control over their own destiny.
3. They will always have something to do no matter what, since there is always something to read.
4. Anything that you want to learn more about can be read in a book or other document. All you need is the desire to learn and you can read to learn about it.
5. Reading stimulates the imagination.
6. Reading is a quick way to learn, if they master it.