I started reading to my daughter a long time ago. I am not able to pinpoint the exact moment but, I still remember her first bath book with bright, lovely animal pictures in it.
I was working from home during those early days. This enabled me to spend a lot of time with my daughter. We used to see pictures in our books. Someone had gifted us big sized colorful books which had color coordinated pages and lots of objects in it. And so, with baby steps, started our journey with books.
Luckily, I had really good friends whose kids were slightly older to my daughter. They would give me good book recommendations and also activity related information. Here, I would also like to mention my association with Little Reader’s Nook as a craft kits supplier. Regular discussions with an equally passionate person like Devaki (Founder of Little Reader’s Nook) surely brought me closer to picture books.
I never thought I would do so much with my daughter nor that I would post it all on my own blog to share with other like-minded parents. I guess, never say NEVER. Our blog has many posts on Books, Activities and why Art & Craft is important but, this is my first post on, “How reading helps?”
I had this wrong idea in my mind that if I read to my daughter, she would start reading and writing quicker. For a long time, I found that she was more interested in being read to and she did not show any exceptional growth or liking towards words or reading or writing. I did a Jolly Phonics teacher’s course and started teaching phonics to a group of her friends including her.
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and so did the other kids. However, my daughter still did not show any quick improvement. I wondered, here I was reading to her every day, doing numerous activities with her, taking the pains of going through a course on Jolly Phonics and teaching the kids. Why was there no significant change in her then?
When you place yourself away from the situation you are in, you are able to see the error of your own ways. I did.
We as parents do many things wrong without realizing it.
- Comparing our children to others.
- We make them carry the load of our expectations.
- We do not realize that every child has their own “speed” of absorbing different forms of knowledge.
- The most important one! It does not matter. Really, It doesn’t matter if they do not write A,B,C at a certain month in their tender ages of two and three! They would learn it eventually.
- We get so result oriented that we forget that we are enjoying the journey with our kids. The journey we explored together is THE MOST important thing. Making memories. How awesome!
Going forward with our story. At the time I was wondering if all those activities were really benefitting my daughter. Today she is six years old and I am so happy to let you know that, YES, IT ALL HELPS.
This I am not saying because suddenly my daughter has the ability to read and write well. The fact is, she doesn’t. She is still not able to read words already taught to her, she still complains about writing and tries to avoid it. I still have to follow-up with her for her homework.
It’s my perspective which has changed.
When we had shifted to Hong Kong, our Cargo hadn’t yet come. When it did come after a month, it had many of our books in it. I was happy that for a few days screen time was forgotten.
Reading regularly has developed Aruja’s vocabulary and she has excellent communication skills. In a new environment, a new country, Aruja showed an exceptional ability to deal with adults and kids.
The books we had read had excellent story base so she had an understanding about feelings, about compassion, about neatness, about violence and humor, all those soft factors that enhance your personality without “putting it in words”.
The school reports may have had many words in them but, the ones which warmed my heart were:
Aruja loves story reading and books, she is quite knowledgeable for her age, she loves sharing and she is a team person. In spite of being almost a year younger to her other classmates, Aruja was able to cope up. A fact which had escaped my mind as I tried my best to teach her English and Math and expected her to learn quickly.
I received similar feedback from various mothers because Aruja was able to deal with children, way below her age and also much older kids.
Now, why is this related to books?
Varied Stories improve so many aspects of your personality that it would be a very sorry state of mind if we were only to look at academic improvements. Stories help you learn compassion, differentiate right from wrong, Empathise, love nature, be knowledgeable and learn moral values in a subtle way.
Aruja loves personal stories. She repeatedly asks for stories about my childhood pets, our childhood, about cousins, grandfathers and grandmothers and aunts and uncles. This has enabled her to reach those corners of people’s lives which are so treasured in the form of stories. Who would not love a person who was ready to listen to their story?
This particular trait has helped her bond better with her grandmother and grandfather who are miles apart today but, have weekly call times fixed so, they can regale her with new and old stories every week.
Today, if she is curious about any new book she sees. She goes through the pages, the illustrations, tries to read the words on her own. Sometimes she even sits with knowledge and fact books and goes through the pictures and words.
The spark is there and I am positive it will develop further into something wonderful to treasure. I am already seeing the changes now.
These were just some personal experiences shared with you. Please start young and keep reading to your child. The benefits will surely be seen one day.
I curse myself on why I even doubted this fact. If I have a happy and a curious child today, it is ALSO because of the books.
Could I even imagine these past six years without those countless stories that helped us bond, helped us smile, made us cry, helped us love and dream awhile?
What do you think the answer is? 😉
Meanwhile below are some definitive points on why reading would help your child’s development.
- Improves language and literacy skills.
- Fosters a life-long love for reading.
- Builds listening skills.
- Sparks Imagination.
- Builds logic and analytical skills.
- Acts as a distraction during tantrum phases.
- Reduces screen time.
- Improves communication skills
- Reading different books brings a fresh perspective.
- Grasping concepts becomes easy in a story format.
- Helps gain knowledge about life skills, facts and cultures.
Start reading to your child and keep reading.
PS: If you need any book recommendations for kids (other than that already mentioned on our blog), please feel free to get in touch with me. Leave me a comment on the blog and I will revert to you.
Girl Image credit: Google image