My children love to read and to be read to by myself, my husband, their grandpa and each other. There are tons of studies that prove how important reading is to children when they are little. They are true! When you read to your children they gain so many wonderful assets from that time with you. A good friend of mine who is a kindergarten teacher told me recently that she knows within the first few days of school the children who have been read to and those who have not. The ones that have not are behind the others. She said lap reading, being read to as a child teaches that child how to read from left to right, how to understand sequence, the beginning, middle and end of a story, how to see details in pictures that tell the story, how to predict what will happen next and a healthy love of writing, reading and listening. Reading to your children gives them a head start at school.
When I was pregnant with my first child I read to my big belly hoping he would hear me. When he was born I read to him daily. When he was about 15 months old he had trouble going to sleep at night so I put books in his bed for him to look at, by the light of the hall he looked through at least 15 books every night before he would finally drift off to sleep. Ever since then he has to read before he goes to sleep, most nights for at least 2 hours (it is not my requirement; it is a habit he has formed). His reading comprehension, vocabulary and spelling skills are the highest in his class.
My daughter who is a very competitive athlete always loved a good story and followed suit. She always reads before bed and because of her competitive nature has been checking out books 3 levels above her grade. She loves to tell her older brother just how much she has read. The same goes with my 7 year old Spencer he has to read at night as well. I joke about how my children eat books. When we visit the library I have to limit the number of books they check out to 10 for each child.
There is definite proof that reading to your children is very important. Letting them see us as parents read for leisure is also important. How often as parents do we have a chance to be this type of example for our children? When was the last time you picked up a book and let it take you to a different place and time in life? Today take some time to read with your children. Take a trip to the library and check out a book for yourself and a dozen for your children. It doesn’t cost a dime but what your child will gain from the love of reading is priceless!