Why Reading Needs to be Regularly and Productively

As soon as children enter preschool, you will notice how much their teachers encourage reading. Reading to young kids is fundamental to early language skills and it promotes early literacy.  Reading promotes creativity and imagination (De-Vito, n.d.) The promotion and encouragement of reading in our homes are essential for when they progress in school. Likewise, regular shared reading and productively reading to our young children is as vital.






  Regular shared reading, as well as home support, is beneficial for young kids. Research such as the study conducted to show the relationship of parental involvement to children's mathematical performance and mathematics anxiety presented how the interaction and home support can reduce kid's math anxiety (Vukovic, 2013). The frequency and consistency of reading books to pre-school children and shared book reading had a "moderate-to-strong relationship with measures such as emergent literacy, children’s language growth, and reading achievement" (Levy, R.; Hall, M. & Preece, J., p. 125, 2018).

  While several types of research support the benefits of reading, it is important to note that reading takes time to develop. We can not force our kids to learn how to read at a young age. We need to foster a love of reading and remember that reading is fun but also a journey.

How can we cultivate their love of reading? How can we regularly and productively read with our kids?

1. Cultivate by example.

The study by Levy et al., (2018) also states that older children are more motivated to read when they see their parents read. We can not teach and preach if they do not see a good example in us.

2. Availability of books

Over a period of time, you will start to notice what type of books and stories they will be interested in. There was a time when our youngest was into everything ballet. She loved reading anything ballet. There was a time when all she wanted to read was about sharks. Visit the library often or purchase used books on Amazon.

3. Reading routine and a reading area

We started with bedtime reading. It was a scared routine for us. It was my bonding time with them. Then we started reading kid-friendly devotionals. Trust me that as your kid grows up, they may move away from bedtime reading. BUT, you will find them reading at any time.

4. Read with your child

This is where productively read comes. Don't just read for the sake of reading. Engage with them. Our girls love when I change my voice to match the characters in the story. Ask them questions! Not only to check on their comprehension but to interact. You will be surprised at how your kids see different things and you will be mesmerized with their perspective.

5. Try to provide appropriate reading level books.

Scholastic's five finger rule is perfect. It provides a general idea of appropriate book level reading.


 0-1 unknown words = book is too easy 
 2-3 unknown words = book is just right 
 4-5 unknown words = book is too difficult

Right track reading also provides a good stage of reading development.


References:

Vukovic, R. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/10409289.2012.693430 

Levy, R.; Hall, M. & Preece, J. (2018) Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1183597


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