Creating a Love of Reading

Creating a love of learning starts at home.  Parents who read to their children develop the curiosity and value of books within their child.  Children love to be in close proximity of a trusting, loving adult where they can relax, feel safe and secure and let their imagination run wild.  In this moment they take risks in their learning, asking what words mean, clarifying their understanding of a sentence.  They start to learn figurative language and may ask what it means if they hear, “raining cats and dogs,” in a story.  This is a great teachable moment and opportunity for a fun discussion!

Parents often ask when is the best age to start reading to their child.  The answer is right after birth!  In those early newborn stages of brain development, thousands of neurological connections are being made every second!  The sound of a parent’s voice or a close care-giver offers soothing and comforting sounds as the baby starts to learn about his or her new world.   Early on, children are learning sound discrimination which is essential for speech development and down the road, reading!

When children are read to at a young age, they develop a natural curiosity of books.  They will turn pages and tell stories as they go.  Around preschool ages, your child will soon start to ‘memorize’ stories and recite them as they turn the pages.  This is excellent!  Auditory memory and memorization is being developed as they enjoy hearing their stories again and again and this time, in their own voice!  How exciting!

Soon after, your child will start to recognize words they see often.  You can point out common sight words and have your child read them when he or she sees them.  As you read, point to the words on the page and when you point to the words you have taught them, let them read it out loud!  Walaah! They are becoming readers!  

I always recommend for this to happen naturally.  When I work with students who are behind, it is easy for me to help them catch up.  However, a child who has developed learned helplessness, or a complete disinterest in reading is much harder to help.  Effective reading intervention must start with a desire to want to learn. That comes from home!