Reading the child knows. The better the student

Reading
with our kids is a piece of advice we hear from everyone, from our doctors, to
their teachers, to our parents. There is a reason why the advice is given and a
better reason why we should be following it. It is a simple act at the end of
the night that can have a huge impact on our children’s lives.  Reading can have benefits that extend to
their self-esteem to their school success. 
It will even have a positive impact on your relationship with each
other.  While this small gesture can be
easily overlooked because of our busy lives, this small, simple act can have a
huge effect on our children’s lives.

According
to both The Melbourne Institute of Applied
Economics and Social Research and The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, literacy
and numeracy skills increase in children who are read to three to five times a
week. Avid readers perform better.  One
of the main reasons is the number of words the child knows.  The better the student understands the
teacher and the lesson, the better the student will perform. 

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Reading to your child expands their vocabulary which will
expand their views and different ways of thinking which will help improve their
confidence.  Understanding what is being
said is just part of their education process, knowing how to reiterate back to
the teacher is the next step.  The
frustration of not being able to find the words to say what they want will no
longer be a struggle. They will feel smart and confident.  As the success in school grows, so will their
self-confidence.

Too often we make reading a chore, especially no with all the
technology that is available.  Kids would
rather watch a YouTube video of the subject than read about it.  In fact, many teachers are incorporating
videos into the lesson plans as supplements to enforce the subject.  But as parents we must find a way to make
reading exciting and enjoyable.

When I was growing up, I did not have YouTube, Facebook,
streaming networks, IPads, smartphones, and every other bit of technology that
takes the written word to an action-based world.  I recently introduced my daughter to the game
Zorn, which, for those who are not familiar, is a completely text-based
game.  There are no graphics, no
pictures, no sounds, no exciting fight scenes. 
It starts with “You stand at the edge of a town.  There is a road leading N, S, or E.  What will you do?”  Or in the forest exploring, “You are in a
forest. Which way would you like to go? N. That way is blocked. You are in a
forest. What way would you like to go? E. You go East. You see a Troll.  What would you like to do? Attack Troll.  Attack Troll with what?  Attack troll with Hammer.”  I think you get the idea.  My daughter, and depending on your age, and
you, may find this to be completely boring and a waste of time.  I was already a book worm at this time, but
games like Zorn and Wizards and Warriors strengthened my love of the written
word.  Showing my daughter how fun the
written word was for me, gave her an understanding of how I my love of reading
started.  I’d like to take a moment to
state she did started liking Wizards and Warriors after the second game. 

But, it is up to us as parents, to find that joy for our
children.  Read your favorite books out
loud to them and share your joy with them. 
I’m able to read to them books that are above their grade level.  Read the book they are currently reading so
you can talk about it together – even if it means you must read about twinkling
vampires.  Reading together is a bonding
experiences between you and your child. 
It is an experience that just the two of you are sharing together, the
excitement, the fear, the sadness, just as the characters in the book are
experiencing them.  By making this part
fun, the school readings won’t be such a chore.

One of
the most important jobs as parent is to provide our children with the tools
necessary to grow into a wonderful person. Books offer situations, so our
children can learn what to do if they find themselves in similar
situations.  We may never find ourselves
besieged by Smaug while wearing the One Ring, but the book, 13 Reasons Why brought bullying,
depression, rape, drinking, and suicide into the conversation.  For some families, for the very first
time.  Reading offers valuable
educational, social and emotional learning tools that research has shown will
provide your child a strong foundation to grow. Five minutes of reading a night
can make a pretty big difference, for your child, and for you.

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