Reading is an accrued skill, that is, the more your read the better you get at it.
Research suggests that there is a decline in reading as students get older and by the time they reach 12th grade, only 19% of students read for pleasure daily.
If you are wondering where Phonics fits in Phonics are part of the essential mechanics of reading, the decoding part. You could also call it the “how to” aspect of reading. The other part is the “want to” which is the motivational end. Without the “want to” all the “how to” drill work is not going to create a lifetime reader. You reading aloud to your children builds the child’s “want to”.
Words are the primary building blocks for learning and there are only two different ways to get words into the brain either through the eye or ear. When a child is very young it will take some time before the eye is used for reading therefore the best way for brain building is through the ear. Those meaningful sounds in the ear will help the child make sense of the words coming later through the eye (reading).
We read aloud to children to reassure, entertain, bond, inform, arouse curiosity and aspire them. Reading aloud to children also goes a step further to:
- Condition the child to associate reading with pleasure
- Creates background knowledge
- Builds book vocabulary
- Provides a reading role model
Scientific Reading Fact – Human Beings are pleasure centered
Every time you read to a child, you are sending a pleasure message to the child’s brain conditioning it to associate books and print with pleasure. Sometimes reading and school can become tedious and boring with long days of worksheets, hours of phonics and hours of tests. If a child rarely experiences the pleasures of reading and increasingly meets its unpleasure, the natural reaction will be withdrawal.
30 years of reading research confirms the simple formula that regardless of sex, race nationality or socioeconomic background – students who read the most, read the best, achieve the most and stay in school the longest.
Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (22,000) students found that beginning kindergarten children who had been read to at least 3 times a week had a significantly greater phonemic awareness (phonics) than did children who were read to less often and were almost twice as likely to score in the top 25 percent in reading readiness.
Most instruction in school for the first four years is oral – the teacher talks the lesson to the class. The larger the vocabulary the better the child understands the teacher and the lesson.
A good children’s book is three times richer in vocabulary than conversation. No one can deny the importance of conversation in a child’s life but when it comes to building rich vocabulary, nothing does it like words that come from print. When researches counted the words we use most often the total came to 10,000 different words (the most common word is “the”). Beyond the 10,000 mark your meet what are called the “rare” words. Though they make up words less frequently used in conversation they make up more and more of what you must know in order to understand complicated ideas and feelings in print in a textbook, novel or something like the New York Times. The more rare (book) words a child knows the more easily he or she will be able to read complex ideas.
If you use audio books it is essential the experience be a shared one so both of you can discuss the story during and after hearing it.
Click on this link to see ideas for kids books CLICK HERE