It is undeniable that a child’s reading skills are important to their success in school, work and life in general. It is possible to help ensure your child’s success by reading to them from a very early age, then progressing to reading together, until they ultimately start reading on their own and finding the love and enjoyment of a good storybook.
Numerous studies show that students who are exposed to reading before preschool are more likely to do well in formal education. These are the 5 early reading skills that are essential for development:
1. Phonemic awareness – hear, identify and play with individual sounds in spoken words
2. Phonics – connecting the letters of the written language with the sounds of the spoken language
3. Vocabulary – learning new words to communicate effectively
4. Comprehension – understanding the meaning of what is being read
5. Fluency – being able to read text accurately and quickly
A special bond
Reading to and with your child on a regular basis will help you forge a stronger relationship with them – it is great quality time with the intimacy of having your child close to you. Even with babies, they may not understand what you are reading, but they love to hear familiar voices and reading to them provides invaluable nurturing and reassurance. As the child gets older, books provide a wonderful springboard to meaningful discussions about a range of different topics and the best way to help a child understand something without having to actually experience it for themselves. There is no better way to explore and understand humanity and the world around you.
Increased concentration and discipline
Introducing regular reading time increases a child’s concentration and discipline. Toddlers who will initially squirm after a short period will develop a longer attention span and better memory retention which will serve them well in formal schooling.
Enhancing imagination and creativity
Reading opens doors to all kinds of new worlds for your child and fuels their creativity and their natural capacity to dream big.
Lifelong reading and learning
Reading is key for lifelong learning and learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field, so it is worthwhile trying to instill a love for books and reading at an early age.
At Clonard, we are particularly proud of our literacy programme that includes separate Reader Packs from grade R to grade 3. These are written and designed by our team of experienced teachers and tried and tested over 20 years to ensure that our students are ahead of the game in terms of their reading and literacy in the foundation phase.