Reading is fundamental no what matter the age, because the brain needs exercise.
Recently I worked as a Preschool teacher and each morning we had circle time and then story time, and to avoid being repetitive we used books, puppets, props, music, and other learning materials. The children who picked up on lesson’s the easiest had parent’s who read to their children once or twice daily. I also observed the babies who parents read to them from the womb or birth were able to form words faster then their peers.
Talking to children in baby talk is cute but archaic in developing your children reading, language, and comprehension skills, and in doing so could work against your child’s development. Here is another great observation I will share. Preschoolers who had parents who read to them picked up on learning foreign language much faster, and their aptitude for learning and their self esteem catapulted. Check out the article below from the NY Times
The importance of reading to children from birth. Kindergarten readiness. The various approaches to teaching reading. All of those issues have been much in the news of late (and they’re never far from the minds of parents of young children), so my “Parent-Teacher Conference” email folder is full of questions about early literacy. Fortunately, Daniel T. Willingham’s new book, “Raising Kids Who Read,” was published this month, and it addresses every single one of them.
Dr. Willingham is a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, and his books and articles are some of my favorite resources on the science of learning. In “Raising Kids Who Read,” Dr. Willingham explains the science of early literacy, then translates that science into practical advice for parents and teachers. This week, I’ve asked him to help answer some commonly asked questions about raising enthusiastic, confident and proficient readers.
Before preschool, is there anything I should do besides read to my child? Should I teach her letters of the alphabet?
There’s not much evidence that teaching letters early provides a big boost to reading, probably because most children learn the letters of the alphabet fairly readily. What children find more difficult is hearing individual speech sounds in language. Words are composed of separate sounds — the word “top,” for example, has three distinct sounds — but picking that word apart into its constituent sound components does not come naturally. Although it doesn’t come naturally, children must learn to hear speech sounds, because that’s what letters signify.
A great way to do this is through word games. Experiment with alliteration (good golly, gobs of grapes), and rhyme (let’s meet this street with our feet). Children’s books that are heavy on rhyming and alliteration, such as Dr. Seuss and Mother Goose, are great read-alouds that help strengthen sound identification.