Reading bedtime stories to preschoolers is fundamental to childhood literacy development. Simply sitting down for 20 minutes every night will make a world of difference in a child’s intellect and learning ability. But it may take more than nightly reading to foster a child’s future reading success, research is now suggesting.
Advances in studies indicate those who read to children must not only read to, but also engage young children with lively, enthusiastic recitations. The goal with this is to bring characters and plot to life and put a face on the otherwise faceless.
Reading methods such as these are proven to ultimately spark children’s comprehension, vocabulary and interest. This interest is exactly what determines the difference between children who easily pick up reading and those who struggle a little harder, especially between the ages 4 and 5.
This is especially important for poorer children, whereas only 20% of impoverished 4-year-olds can recognize all 26 letters. This compares with 37% of children at or above the poverty level who recognize all the letters. Numerous studies over the last decade show that such strategies are vital for boosting low-income children’s vocabularies, language development, sound awareness and letter recognition abilities.
Droning on in monotony a story to your child will not only fail to attract them to reading, but might even encourage them to harbor resentment toward reading. The goal shouldn’t be to bore your child to sleep, rather, it should be to involve them in an exciting dialogue to pique their interest. Engaging them with colorful scenarios from a story will keep them interested in learning and encourage their interest in books.