Children and reading go together like grass and green. You should never have one without the other. Why is children and reading a perfect match? Because children who read become adults who lead and teach.
There is a good reason why reading, writing and arithmetic are foundational subjects in any good curriculum. Think about your last week going about whatever it is you do. How many times did you have to do some quick arithmetic in the kitchen or at the store? How many times did you read directions, do research on the internet, read a map or look at road signs? Did you ever write a note or a letter to communicate your thoughts to someone else? We can barely get by in this world without basic skills in those areas. Basic skills are necessary. Important to greater achievements in any society are advanced skills in basic areas. Every course we take for any profession needs a solid base in reading, writing and arithmetic.
Teaching reading begins in early childhood. Actually, some say it begins before birth. Before a child can read, he must be spoken to often so that their brains can develop to hear what they will eventually see. Before we can teach reading to children those children must be read to. Before a child can do math problems, he must know how to read those problems. Before a child can write, he must know the words and their meaning that he intends to communicate.
What are the best times to read to children? When they ask for a story. When we need them to settle down. When they are curious about new ideas or concepts or things they see. When we want to transition from an active day to a quiet evening.
How can we enhance every reading time with children? Ask them questions throughout the reading session, improving reading comprehension as you determine they are listening. Engage them in the story with those questions so they will know they are a real part of the activity. Later in the day, reference the material read; they will understand that reading is a part of everyday life.
Reading with children should be viewed as an opportunity to carve the future of the world. It should be viewed as a chance to make a difference in a child’s life by giving him the tools to make his own positive mark. Be assured that the one reading to or with a child will realize tremendous intrinsic value and be grateful they took the time to help that child improve reading skills, the foundation of all learning and leading.