Have you ever experienced that beautiful moment? Sitting with your child and, for the first time, your child begins to read a book to you?
This is truly a beautiful moment. You hear the excitement in their voice. You begin to see the potential of a changed life as your child begins to understand a world around them that they never saw before. This is just one of the many blessings and opportunities that come when you take the time to read with your child.
There are many ways that reading with children can change their world…and yours. Here are four top picks:
- Developing a Relationship. As your child hears you read, your child learns your voice and becomes accustomed to you speaking into their life.
- Teaching a Skill. Children learn by example and repetition. As you consistently read together, you are setting the foundation for your child’s reading future.
- Creating a Foundation for Life-Long Learners. When you take consistent time to read with your children, you set an example that reading is important and can be enjoyable. As you discuss the content, you set the example that you can learn much from reading. Through this, you provide the opportunity for children to become lovers of reading. The more that we (adults, as well as, children) read, the more we learn, the more we have to offer other people.
- Life Discussions. As you read, take moments to talk about what you are reading. It may be as simple as defining a word. It may be a little deeper with describing a bigger picture of what a word, sentence or paragraph is describing. It may be more complex with discussing content and how it relates to your life. This also gives you a great opportunity to share and establish your world view (the way you see the world and the foundation for how you understand the world).
As children grow and mature, the picture of reading together will look different. With younger children, you may simply look at pictures books together or read a story book to your child. As they are learning to read, you will spend time helping them identify and pronounce words. You can even trade off reading paragraphs or pages. With older children and teen-agers, you could create your own book club where each of you read the book, or chapter, on your own time and then come together at a specified time to discuss what you have read. The point is to find something that works for you.
Books provide such an incredible opportunity for a journey with your child. You can get lost in a story with your child – creating and enjoying a new shared memory. You can inspire your child. You can participate in life with your child as they learn and explore through the power of a story.
What have you experienced in spending time reading with children? You can leave a comment below.
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