There he was at our table: a little, blonde-haired, big, blue-eyed cutie pie sitting between his parents.
This past weekend, my hubby and I sat down and had a great conversation at a family wedding. We were oohing and ahhhhing over that little boy at our table. We talked with his parents about life, jobs, kids, the newlyweds, and much more. At the end of the night, the dad turned to me and asked the pointed question: “What should we do to help our son be successful in school?"
I didn’t hesitate.
"Read to him."
Read everything. Song lyrics, Bible stories, short stories, picture books, magazines. Anything and everything, but, for sure, read daily. Here are few great reasons why.
Reading is vitally important. Take it from me – a third grade teacher who sees it all – your daily habit of reading will help your child succeed.
First, and foremost, it teaches your child that reading is important. Reading is fun! Reading is like a mini-movie in your mind, which will become a great strategy for helping to build comprehension and understanding of a story later. And believe me when I say that little kids understand a lot more than we think they do.
Think of this: have you ever asked a little one, “What sound does a dog make?" Even little ones, just over one year old will often reply, “Woof woof.”
Huh? How did that happen? Well, they remember it being taught to them, or exposure to that relationship of dog and sound over and over again has allowed them to remember and recall it.
It’s the same with reading. Consistent exposure to wonderful words will build your child’s brain, vocabulary, critical thinking skills and more. Reading is the gift that truly keeps on giving.
Now, have you ever thought, "I just don’t have time to read to my kiddo tonight?” I know I sure have. I remember the crazy, busy days of babies or toddlers and diapers and play dates and diapers and dishes and diapers. It didn’t seem like the craziness would ever end, but it did. And now… I am so glad that we took those extra moments to cuddle with our little ones to read, even if they were up past their bedtime by a few minutes.
And as Kate DiCamillo once said …
Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty.
It should be offered as a gift.