Nanny Confessions: We Must Teach Kids to Love Books
I confess, it is sometimes hard for me to make time to read to kids everyday. But, no matter how busy the day gets, it’s vital to read aloud to children to help them learn to love reading.
You don’t have to like reading yourself. You don’t have to read on your own time. But, since reading aloud to children is so important, I urge every nanny make the effort to read aloud to your charges each and every day.
There is much debate as to whether children can learn to read, or not, before two-years of age. Despite that argument, we can all agree that one of the most important tools for learning starts with a love of books. To nurture that love, we must read books aloud to children. Here are10 benefits of reading aloud to babies.
Reading books aloud to children is so simple. According to Esme Raji Codell, author of How to Get Your Child to Love Reading, reading doesn’t require any special training. Ms. Codell explains, “In fact, it is so easy on everyone’s part that it hard to believe an activity only slightly more kinetic than television viewing could yield results that verge on the miraculous.”
In the book, Baby Read-Aloud Basics, Caroline J. Blackmore and Barbara Weston Ramirez describe ways babies benefit from a daily read-aloud routine. They explain that the emotional, mental, physical, and sensory benefits of daily reading to a baby are to great to ignore! The authors explain that the baby’s brain is equipped to absorb enormous amounts of information.
For example, new evidence shares that seemingly passive babies are, in terms of brain activity, more active than adults. They share that not only the time from birth to two-years-old critical for language development, but the foundation of learning development and future academic success.
In his book, The Read-Aloud Handbook, Jim Trelease lists the benefits of reading aloud to children.
Research by Jim Trelease shows that sharing books:
- Conditions the child to associate reading with pleasure, which is necessary to maintain reading as a lifelong activity.
- Contributes to background knowledge for all other subjects including science, history, geography, math, and social studies.
- Provides the child with a reading model.
- Creates empathy toward other people because books offer insight into different lifestyles, values, and humanity.
- Increases a child’s vocabulary, grammar, and writing skills.
- Improves a child’s chances of staying in school.
- Improves future probability of employment.
- Increases life span by higher education, better employment, and higher quality of life.
- Lowers probability of imprisonment.
- Improves problem-solving and critical-thinking skills needed for all other areas of learning.
- Offers information.
- Offers laughter and entertainment and an alternative to television
- Improves attention span.
- Stimulates the imagination.
- Nurtures emotional development and improves self-esteem.
- Reading skills are necessary for academic success.