Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's never too early!

Want your child to do better in school? Give them a head start by reading to them from birth. Babies learn language from hearing words over and over again and from pointing to the things the word represents.

Spending time reading with your child has many benefits. Most importantly, it is a time spent together bonding. Reading helps a child learn how to focus and pay attention. It helps them form cognitive thinking, comprehension, imagination and eventually recognize how a word is spelled. It expands their knowledge of the world.

They say that imagination is the mother of invention. Just think of all the things that were invented in the last century! Cars, computers and aviation to name a few. Rapidly changing technology made so many things become outdated so quickly such as 8 tracks, cassette tapes, vcr machines and typewriters…all replaced in the digital age. How radically the world was changed by people like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Bill Gates…each one imagining what was possible!

The great thing about reading is that it allows you to learn about the past, the present and the future. About places you’ll never visit, cultures that are so different than yours and to read different view points to give you a more rounded perspective. Reading is one of the most important gifts you can give your children. You are opening their minds to an unlimited amount of information!

We all spend so much time in our cars these days. Instead of turning on the dvd player for the kids or playing on your smart phone, consider bringing books for them to read. We recommend that children have no more than 90 minutes of media time each day including television, video games and texting. The rest of their free time should be filled with exercise, play and reading.

Children who struggle with reading generally struggle with school. Inability to recognize the written word and comprehend it greatly affects test score results. Poor school performance has an adverse effect on their self esteem.

As parents, it is our responsibility to prepare our children for school and to reinforce the things they learn at school. Waiting for school to teach your child how to spell, count and read puts them way behind their classmates.

Each child is born with their own level of intelligence and ability. Not all will be rocket scientists or natural born athletes. It’s important to accept your child’s capabilities.

Don’t miss out on that special bonding opportunity reading provides for the two of you. Reading a bedtime story is a special routine that is enjoyable and children look forward to it. It’s a great way to get them into bed!

Books don’t have to be costly….most communities have libraries. Garage sales often have many books available. There are many free internet book sites as well. Here’s a few of them:

http://www.ipl.org/div/storyhour/index.html

http://www.magickeys.com/books/

http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/

http://storyplace.org/ (for English and Spanish)

No comments: