Parents want to know how to improve their child’s literacy skills. “Where is that new app or the new game that can teach my child to read faster?” you may think. But the answer is simpler than that. It’s story time! Think back to your childhood, story time gave us something to look forward to before bedtime every night. Exposure to books and reading aloud helps children acquire those literacy skills and reading skills you want them to develop.
The Brightside Academy Approach to Reading Skills
We at Brightside Academy continue to promote literacy skills initiatives in our academies with consistent reading or “circle time” across all age groups. Our goal is to increase literacy and to motivate reading at home. According to the New York Times, “Study Finds Reading to Children of All Ages Grooms Them to Read More on Their Own” a survey conducted of over 1,000 children ages 6-17 concluded that only 31% were read a book almost daily. “I don’t think that parents know how important that time and the role that it plays in children’s lives,” Kristen Harmeling said, a partner at YouGov. Not only does reading improve vocabulary, language development, and comprehension, but reading to your child unifies the family dynamic.” Children in the survey frequently cited reading aloud as a special bonding time with their parents.”
Develop Your Child’s Inner Voice
Reading aloud also helps children find their inner voice and develop a sense of “self” through story-telling. “Sharing books with children can also help them learn about peer relationships, coping strategies, building self-esteem and general world knowledge,” according to “Reading Aloud to Children: The Evidence” from ReachOutandRead.org.
As well as relationship building, reading helps children develop phonologically. When reading aloud, children are able to associate sounds and pronunciation with written words by practicing sound patterns. According to ReachOutandRead.org, “When children do well at detecting and manipulating syllables, rhymes and phonemes, they tend to learn more quickly [how] to read.”
Literacy Experts Agree on the Benefits
Whether your child is 11-months or 11-years, reading out loud has no age limit. Just as you would transition from pop-up, picture books to nursery rhymes to 50+ pages of a Dr. Seuss story, you adjust the complexity of what you’re reading as your child grows. “It’s this idea of marinating children in higher-level vocabulary,” said Pam Allyn, founder of LitWorld.Org. Although there isn’t much evidence to support improved reading comprehension among older children being read aloud to, literacy experts say that if you increase the difficulty of your reading context, children can hear and understand more complex words that build confidence to tackle different forms of literature on their own.
So as you get your child cleaned up, dressed, and tucked into bed tonight, help your child learn to read by pulling out a book, any book, and reading it aloud. The long-term effects can be phenomenal across all stages of child development. You will enjoy quality time with your child while working on building literacy skills that will have a lasting impact on your child’s life.