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How Reading Improves Child Literacy

Carrie Oakley |  The Children’s Book Review | November 3, 2010

Photo credit: takomabibelotThe greatest gift you can give your child is a sound education, and I’ve often found that the key to doing well academically is to improve your literacy. When your reading and writing skills get a boost, you don’t find it hard to pick up information, retain knowledge, and express yourself coherently and accurately. This is why it’s essential to pay attention to your child’s literate skills from a very young age – instead of just teaching them to read and write, teach them how to read and show them the richness and joy it can add to their lives. It’s like the adage of giving a man a fish, and he eats for a day, but teach a man to fish, and he eats for a lifetime.

How exactly does reading help your child improve their literacy skills?

  • The more you read, the more you understand words and are able to relate to the concept in which they’re used.
  • You also become a better writer when you read books of good quality.
  • Reading boosts vocabulary and helps you become a better conversationalist.
  • It also improves your knowledge and makes it easy for you to learn more in less time – when you can read faster, and with less effort, you find that it’s easier to pick up knowledge and information in less time.
  • It helps them learn a new language when you choose books that are not in their native tongue. Books that have pictures and associated words make it easy to pick up the basic words in a new language.
  • It provides them with knowledge about other countries and cultures – they learn more about the world without having to leave home or travel extensively.

Even before your child is old enough to read, you can tempt them to get interested in books by reading to them. Reading can be both a daytime and a bedtime activity. It not only helps your child boost literacy and improves their academic performance, but it also enhances the bond between parent and child and brings you closer to them. Your child learns new words, the meanings of which you can explain as you read to them; and when they’re able to, you can ask them to read part of the story to improve their reading skills.

Television and technology have pushed books to the background today, and kids are somehow conditioned to believe that books and reading are for nerds and geeks. However, if you get them to understand that books are their best bet when it comes to improving knowledge and boosting literacy, you’ve given them friends for life.

This guest post is contributed by Carrie Oakley, who writes on the topic of online colleges. Image courtesy of takomabibelot.

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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