Keep Reading! - Why We Need to Keep Reading with our Children

Aside from being one of the most enjoyable past times, reading with your child is invaluable in all areas of their development.

Research in to literacy development clearly demonstrates reading with your children for as long as possible has many benefits for your child and your relationship.

Shared reading with your child fosters the development of listening skills, spelling, reading comprehension and vocabulary, and establishes foundational literacy skills.

When we read aloud to children it is also beneficial for their cognitive development. While most of the research in this area focuses on young children, this does not mean that these benefits somehow disappear as children age.

Reading together is also an opportunity to encourage a positive attitude towards reading, even if the parent is not a reader themselves. Reading together either as a family group or one to one is quality time with your child/children building special memories together. Reading one to one is also a great time to talk alone just parent and child.

Reading experiences at home and at school influence children’s attitudes to reading. These attitudes influence their learning experiences at school and beyond. Reading experiences provide help to turn our children into life-long readers.

Shared reading experiences should be enjoyable. Parents should ensure they are not distracted by other tasks which take attention away from the shared reading experience. Being distracted or overly critical can equate to a negative.  Some parents attempt to outsource this reading time to older siblings, which can also have mixed results. Reading at home should involve practise of the sight words and shared reading that is a positive experience to encourage the child.

Research tells us many children really enjoy the social aspects of reading and being read to as valuable time with their parents, children also stated that they felt they learned from these experiences. This research suggests that we should not stop reading with our children just because they have learned to read independently.

This suggests we should continue reading with our children until they no longer wish to share reading with us.

Ensuring reading at home is enjoyable can influence children’s future attitudes toward reading, as well as build their confidence and competence as readers. It is worth the effort to find time to share this experience with our children in the early years and beyond.

Kate Pritchard
Library Teacher


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