The Importance of Reading for Your Child's Learning and Cognitive Development
As many parents know, reading is an essential building block for our children’s academic and cognitive development. Reading skills are also necessary to a child's social, emotional, and language development. Reading promotes literacy skills, builds vocabulary and comprehension skills, enhances memory retention and problem-solving abilities, improves listening comprehension skills, and even shapes a child’s values and view of the world.
As parents, helping our kids cultivate a lifelong love of reading is one of the most important things we can do. Reading to our children from an early age not only helps them learn how to read but also exposes them to new worlds and ideas through stories. When children are exposed to a variety of reading materials, it gives them opportunities to enjoy new experiences with their imagination. Both fiction and nonfiction books can take kids to new places and enable them to discover worlds as they open their minds to realities beyond their own.
In addition to being a fundamental activity that enriches a child's development, reading also offers a plethora of other benefits. Here are a few reasons why you should encourage and support reading with your children.
Reading benefits children's imagination and creativity
Reading is a fantastic way to cultivate children’s imagination and creativity. When children read stories, it helps them envision the characters, places, and events described by the author in their minds. Reading is a fun activity that enables kids to step into another world and enter a new realm, taking them to places they can only dream of!
Reading enhances your children's communication skills
Another important benefit of reading is the ways in which it helps young kids develop essential communication skills. In addition to the conversations that emerge during your reading time together, reading also increases your child's exposure to language. Through reading, children are provided with opportunities to learn new words, improve their vocabulary, and sharpen their ability to express themselves.
Reading has a positive impact on academic performance
Reading is one of the best ways to stimulate a child's intellect. The more a child reads, the better he or she is likely to perform in school.
In addition to the fact that books serve as an additional source of information and knowledge on various topics, reading is also linked to enhanced cognitive functioning. Children who have developed a penchant for reading are found to perform better in school and excel in other subjects too, like math. Researchers also found that children who start reading from an early age exhibit higher scores on both verbal and nonverbal tests.
Reading improves concentration
Sitting down to read a book or listen to a story requires a certain degree of focus. Maintaining attention is something that even adults struggle to do. This is where reading can be helpful.
Reading on a consistent basis can greatly improve a child's ability to concentrate. Focusing on a story gives kids the opportunity to harness their ability to focus, concentrate, and retain information.
Reading can enhance a child's memory
When children read, it can have a significant positive impact on their ability to remember information. In order to understand a story, children need to remember specifics about the characters, events, the setting, and so on. Daily exposure to books is an excellent way to help sharpen your child’s memory and boost his or her academic performance.
Reading stories helps develop empathy
The benefits of reading even go far beyond literacy and cognitive development. Reading also promotes a child's social-emotional skills.
According to a Cambridge University study, "Reading fiction provides excellent training for young people in developing and practicing empathy and theory of mind, that is, understanding of how other people feel and think."
Whether we read a story to our children or choose to pick up a book independently, kids begin to empathize with the characters. Without even realizing it, reading helps us get in touch with our emotions. The more children become aware of their own feelings about the stories they read and hear, the better they become at relating and empathizing with others.
Reading provides an excellent source of entertainment
With the internet, electronic devices, and a variety of technology available at their fingertips, children today have more than enough sources of entertainment. But nothing beats reading a book. Reading never goes out of style and will always remain as one of the best pastimes.
As children develop a love for reading, they can find themselves spending hours following a story and journeying on an emotional rollercoaster steeped in suspense and mystery. Through stories, children can travel to different worlds and escape reality for a while, without even realizing how much time they’ve spent.
Because reading can benefit your child in so many ways, now is a great time to encourage your child to read. You can start at home to help your little one develop a lifelong love for reading. Here at Mrs. Myers' Reading Room, we specialize in fun, interactive classes for developing readers. Our engaging process leads to students gaining self-confidence, interpersonal skills, and a love for learning that extends far beyond the classroom.