Reading to your child is an excellent opportunity to bond with your child, create loving memories, and to set them up for academic success—and later, overall success in their life.
PBS published that “studies have shown the more words that are in a child’s language world, the more words they will learn, and the stronger their language skills are when they reach kindergarten, the more prepared they are to be able to read, and the better they read, the more likely they will graduate from high school.”
Numerous more studies have supported this and shown that reading to a child before they enter school helps to improve the following skills:
Five Essential Early Reading Skills
There are five reading skills that are essential for a child’s development and contribute to a child’s overall success in reading and in life.
Word-Sound Awareness. Properly known as “phonemic awareness”, this trait means that an individual is able to hear and identify sounds within a spoken word. It also means they can easily make connections between similar sounding words and their meanings.
Phonics. The art of “sounding it out”—connect the letters of the child’s written language with the sounds it has when spoken.
Vocabular. The amount of words and their complexity that are used to communicate.
Fluency. The ability to read quickly and accurately, especially when reading out loud.
Reading Comprehension. Understanding the meaning of a word based on its use in a sentence.
These skills are often explored during early education and are continued to be built upon as a child’s education continues. A child who is read to prior to starting school is afforded the opportunity to get a head start and strengthen these reading skills. While a child who is not read to often prior to starting school may be able to “catch up”, they are still placed at an initial disadvantage and are at risk for maintaining a skill set lesser than peers who were read to in their younger years.
By choosing to read to your child in their early years, you help to set them up for success.