Have you heard of the “Million Word Advantage”? An Ohio State University study showed that children who are read five books a day before they enter preschool will have heard approximately 1.4 million more words than children who aren’t read to. This action builds a foundation that can benefit your child in many ways. Not only does it develop and expand their vocabulary and grammar, but it also helps them to develop skills such as critical thinking, concentration, memory, listening, and conversation.
Perhaps the most significant benefit of reading to your child is that it can help to inspire a lifelong love of reading. Once a child develops a passion for reading, they can explore all possible horizons of inspiration and thought. Along with fostering this love, you can connect with your child and create a bond through a shared appreciation of literature.
Here are a few tips to help instill a love of reading in your child:
- Be Consistent
Making reading a daily ritual not only helps your child to love reading, but it will also make them view it as a positive and beneficial part of their life. You can even keep a list of books they’ve read to motivate them to celebrate their accomplishments and motivate them to keep going.
- Ask Questions
Get your child talking about their books! Ask them what their favourite part of the story was or tell you what they think will happen at the end. Children love to give their opinions. After each book, have them rate it out of five and ask what they would change in the story to make it better. This helps fire up their creativity and get them to interact with each book.
- Visit the Library
Taking a trip to the library should be a fun experience! These trips introduce your child to the wide world of books, showing them just how many people love reading, especially other children their age. Allowing your child to pick their own books not only improves their independence and self-esteem but also gives you a window into their early interests and passions.
- Make It Fun!
Some children may be reluctant readers or may struggle with reading at first. There are several ways that you can make reading more enjoyable for your child. For instance, you can make reading more active and engaging by giving characters different voices or acting out scenes from the story with your child. You can also be a “Reading Role Model” by consistently telling your children how much you enjoy reading and sharing some of your favourite books from your youth with them.
For more tips on how to raise a reader, complete with book suggestions, check out this great New York Times article. Scholars is here to help as well! We offer online and in-class reading tutoring for students of all ages and learning levels including a Reading Readiness program for emerging readers.