As they are the people a new-born child is exposed to most in their early life, families are considered the primary source of learning for an infant. And infants are always learning, no matter the activity.
It might not be immediately obvious, but they are taking in everything that is going on around them, for it’s all new at this stage; they’re almost a blank canvas and anything that happens around them becomes a significant stroke on the portrait that is their up-to-now brief life.
Families are important in this process of development but it’s a child’s parents, who are usually the first and certainly the most important teachers, that will have the strongest impact on a child’s early progress. It therefore falls to the child’s parents to consider just what they can do to do right by the child, and help set them up, as early as possible, for success in the world.
Reading is one of the most significant lessons a child can learn and teaching your children to read and write is critical to their development, for it increases their potential in the world in ways you can’t even imagine. Writing allows a person to be able to think and coherently order their arguments, a skill they will be able to carry for all their life. It’s equally as important as reading, though you can’t write if you can’t read.
Research has shown that a child’s literacy learning begins well before formal schooling and some studies have also noted the positive impact that can be taken from reading to your child prenatally, as odd as that may sound and feel.
This article takes a look into when you should begin reading to your baby, how often you should read and how long for, plus the reasons why reading to your little one is so significant to their growth.
Let’s explore how you can encourage a love of reading in your child…
How Often Should You Read to Your Child?
The short answer is you should read to them as often as you can.
A pediatrician's advice would ordinarily be to try and read to/with your child at least three times a week. This is only a rule of thumb however; if you wish to read more often to your child then more power to you - they'll only benefit from it.
If you can find time to read to your child every day then that’s fantastic and is definitely something to aim for. It might only last a few minutes as your baby’s attention span will only be short to begin with, but as they get older their attention span will grow and they’ll be able to handle longer, more complex stories.
Reading at such a young age is exposure based, so the more words and vocabulary your child hears and begins to understand, the more they will learn. Regularly expose them to reading and the more they will take in and the more access they'll have to the benefits of reading.
When Should You Start Reading to Your Child?
Start reading to your child as early as you can. The sooner the better.
The earlier you can begin reading to your child, the more beneficial it will be to them.
Pediatricians normally recommend you begin reading at least before they reach eighteen months old however beginning much earlier will only enhance and accelerate the skills they will gain.
Research has shown that even prenatal reading has a positive impact on a child’s ability and so the faster you can begin reading to your little one, the better. It might feel a little odd, reading aloud to your stomach, however remember it’s all for a good cause.