Getting ahead: How can you help your Child?
Updated: Apr 1
A child’s reading skills will definitely be important to their success in school, work, and life in general. We all know that it is good to read to children. How is reading beneficial to your child? Today, we explore the benefits of reading to children and how simple storytelling can make them ready for the future.
Benefits of reading to your child:
Reading to young children is proven to improve cognitive skills and help along the process of cognitive development. It is an essential way through which parents can help their child to foster brain development and imagination. Even the youngest children benefit from hearing their caregivers read to them!
Look at this clear evidence that was reported in The Straits Times.
The British Cohort Study, follows the lives of more than 17,000 people born in a single week in 1970 in England, Scotland and Wales. Of these 17,000 members, 6000 took a range of cognitive tests at age 16. When the research team compared children from the same social backgrounds, it discovered that those who frequently read books at age 10, and more than once a week when they were 16, had higher test results than those who read less.
Reading for pleasure was linked in greater intellectual progress, in vocabulary, spelling and surprisingly, mathematics as well. In fact, the impact of reading was around four times greater than that of having a parent with a post-secondary degree!
For our babies that we receive at our infant care, we start reading to our babies, right from the time they start school with Nurture Infant House Tampines!
Whilst babies still cannot read for themselves, they love to be read to. When children are young, they learn via by listening and respond to various sounds, even more so than what they see. Using interesting books and various sounds, we establish the relationship bonds that we have with the children and hope to inspire a love of books and learning in them.
Reading books to kids helps expand the number and variety of words they use. With books, vocabulary words that are otherwise not used in daily conversations are used! This means that your child will be exposed to new words and an expanded vocabulary.
From the British Cohort Study mentioned above, it was found that there was a 14.4 per cent advantage in vocabulary, a 9.9 per cent advantage in mathematics and and 8.6 advantage in spelling, the research found, once parents’ backgrounds and reading habits were taken into account.
Tip: Have you considered audio books? Research from The National Literacy Trust, an independent British charity, has found that half of all children polled, or 53 per cent, say listening to audiobooks has increased their interest in reading.
The survey, which was conducted between January and March 2020 and involved 58,346 children and youth aged nine to 18, also found that two in five or 42.6 per cent of those polled say listening to audiobooks has made them more interested in writing.
In our blog, we have highlighted the benefits of using the National Library App. Did you know that as a Singaporean / PR, you can borrow up to 32 books? 16 physical and 16 Ebooks. Try audio books for younger children, I am sure you will find the research results mentioned above to be true for you too!
If you want to develop your child’s skills in the Chinese Language, read books in Chinese to develop your child’s fluency and vocabulary in Chinese! Nowadays, there are many well-translated books from English to Chinese. For your child’s favourite English book, borrow them in the Chinese language so that they can read or listen to their favourite story in another language. That would surely inspire them to learn more in another language.
Storytelling is a great way for you and your child to connect. You get to spend time together and unwind after a long day. Very young babies love to hear familiar voices, and reading is the perfect outlet to create this connection.
Important Tip: Make reading a shared routine that you and your child can both look forward to at the end of each day!
Through books, children can use their imaginations to explore people, places, times, and events beyond their own experiences. This can widen your child’s imagination and foster his/her creativity. These have long-lasting effects your child’s school, work, and life in the future.
Greater Attention Span
Reading to children helps them develop key concentration and self-discipline skills. Regular reading also gets kids to listen in order to comprehend. By doing so, they are more likely to sit still, develop a longer attention span, and even work on their budding memory-retention skills. Even squirmy or easily distracted children will eventually learn to stay put for the duration of the book.
Foundation for Academic Success
The more you read to your child, the more knowledge and words they know before they begin formal schooling. They will be exposed to a wide range of words and will be able to recognize words that they have come across before! This sets them up for academic success when they eventually begin formal schooling!
Important Tip: Once your child develops the habit of reading, consider introducing a varied repertoire of books to develop his/her interest in topics of nature, science, history or even art. Your child can continue to read his/her favourite books, but who knows? Reading about another topic might just spark your child’s interest in that topic!
When should I start?
Babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers, and even older children all benefit from having someone read to them. It is never too early to start!
Here at Nurture Infant House Tampines, we have dedicated reading times where your child will be exposed to a wide selection of age-appropriate books! We have also implemented the important tips that we have shared with you in this article:)
For parents living in the Tampines, Nurture Infant House has had 20 years of experience in caring for your beloved children.
Refer to our Facebook page for more tips on how to bring up your child.