So the common knowledge is that it is important to read with your kids is important, but what are the specifics. How long should you be reading books with your kids? At what age should you start? What are they learning?
Kids are like sponges. Absorbing everything they are surrounded by, so the real question is what do you what them to absorb and what do you want them to achieve. If you would like them to have a bright education ahead of them, literacy is a key component.
The magic number seems to be 20. 20 minutes a day reading books with your kids can lead to a love of language, imagination, and stories. This can start from the time they’re in your belly but should be in place by 1-2 years old. Kids can learn so much by sharing this intimate time with you reviewing their favorite subjects. Books come on all subject manners, so if your child loves cars, animals, or sesame street, there is a book for them. They can be read in spurts throughout the day or simply at night before they go to bed. As in all parenting concepts, the best way to include things is make them work for you.
Before the age of 5, reading books with your child’s greatest impact in the world of reading is phonological awareness. This means the child can hear and play with the sounds within a word. Hearing the sounds and playing with those sounds can lead to sounding out words for writing and sounding out words to begin reading. If your child’s delayed in reading and writing, then continued practice of reading/listening to stories can help them to accomplish there goals.
Some simple tasks to increase phonological awareness are:
- Sing Songs: Songs are easy for kids to follow along with, keep there interest, and have learning built in
- Say Nursery Rhymes: or find rhymes that work for you and interest your child
- Play Word games: from “What starts with B?” to “what starts with the same letter as ball?” to “what rhymes with ball?”