Why should I read to my child every day?
For the past two years, Nal’ibali has been encouraging you to read to your children regularly – just 15 minutes a day, every day! But why is this very small action so very important? Here are some of the reasons:
- Things that are part of the rhythm of the everyday life of a child, soon become a habit. The easiest way to instil the reading habit in children is to use their love of stories. When you read with them every day, they come to see reading as natural and something that people do every day – just like eating, sleeping and brushing your teeth!
- When children are read to every day, they learn that their lives include the pleasure and satisfaction of a good story. Looking forward to story time is an important step in becoming a lover of books and a life-long reader.
- Reading to children every day no matter how busy you are, means you are making time for them. This shows them that they are important to you. “Come! Sit here with me and let’s read this together,” sends them a loving message. The memory of spending relaxed and satisfying story times with you, will stay with your children throughout their lives.
- Children learn to read by first being read to and then learning how to do it for themselves. When you read to young children, you show them how books work – how the pictures and words work together to tell the story, how the words in a book stay the same every time you read them, and how the words we read have meaning. Knowing these things helps children learn how to read for themselves later on.
- Reading to your children every day – no matter what their ages − is also a good way to get to know what interests them and to let them know what interests you. It’s not only reading together that makes a difference, but also the discussions you have about the characters and things that happen in the story. Talking about these things develops their thinking, imagination, language and their understanding of people. It helps them to develop into thoughtful and compassionate human beings.