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Reading to your child is as important as hearing them read. Here's why.

By Atom | Oct 2, 2023, 1:56 PM

A father reading a bedtime story to his son

Reading comprehension is a skill for life. It offers a deeper understanding of the world, better grades, stronger performance at work, and countless other benefits. And storytime is an underrated way to help your child develop these skills. Here's why we love reading to our kids!

It helps their language comprehension

Your child’s reading comprehension depends on two skills:

  • Decoding: being able to read the symbols on the page.

  • Language comprehension: understanding the meaning of the words and sentences.

Each time your child reads to you, they improve their decoding skills. When a reader is not yet fluent, decoding takes up a lot of cognitive effort, leaving them less ability to focus on language comprehension.

But each time you read to your child, they don't have to spend cognitive effort on decoding. Instead, they are able to supercharge their language comprehension skills!

It lets them experience new ideas

Reading to your child lets them access more challenging texts than they can currently read for themselves. It's a chance to engage in higher levels of understanding, empathy and comprehension. By the time they can decode fluently, they'll be way ahead.

For example, if your child is 7, they may not be able to read The Hobbit or Treasure Island on their own. But if you read these books to them, you open up a whole new world of ideas that they have the cognitive ability to access.

If you can't regularly read to your child, try audiobooks, podcasts, and documentaries. These are all great ways to support them to build knowledge and listening comprehension skills.

It boosts their wellbeing

Reading to your child has tons of benefits for their wellbeing. You give them your undivided attention, letting them know they matter and showing how much you value quality time with them.

Reading at bedtime is a wonderful part of a healthy sleep routine. It offers dedicated time for relaxation and unwinding, supporting better sleep. Hearing a parent or guardian read before bedtime can be reassuring and help a child to get lost in their imagination.

It encourages reading for fun

Reading for pleasure correlates with academic success. Studies have found that children who read for fun perform better in exams.

By taking away the effort of decoding, each time you read to your child you reinforce the idea that books are enjoyable. Over time, they'll become more likely to read independently for fun.

When you value reading as part of the daily routine, your child is likely to continue the habit, setting them up for future success!

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