Parents are children’s first and most influential teachers. Reading together is one of the earliest shared experiences of parents and children. When you read a story to a child, you are her reading teacher.
Children learn to read by being read to. Research shows that early and good readers come from homes where reading is valued and experienced regularly. The desire to read starts with the early enjoyment of being held in a lap and cuddled as a story is read.
In addition to the feelings of warmth and security fostered by laptime reading, reading aloud to children expands their world and vocabulary. It creates an appreciation of the value of print, promotes knowledge of the mechanics of reading from the top to the bottom of the page and from left to right, and helps create an understanding of a sequence of events.
Setting aside time every day to read to your child says, “I love you and I want to spend special time sharing a story with you.” It further demonstrates your love for books and sets the stage for developing in your child an interest and desire to become a reader.
Let your child pick a story. Then cuddle up together to enjoy exploring the power and magic of the printed word!
Family Friendly Communication for Early Childhood Programs
National Education for the Education of Young Children
Deborah Diffily and Kathy Morrison, editors; 1996; pg. 54.