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Reading Aloud


Do you read to your child? Some parents read very regularly to their children, others read randomly, while still others hardly ever do so. Here's why you should read regularly to your children, and tips to get you started.


Always pick a book that is age-appropriate. For younger children and babies, pick up books with stories that rhyme. They will enjoy these books more, and it will be easier for them to grasp words.

Make various sounds and exaggerated actions when reading aloud. Your child will enjoy being read to all the more. Read slowly and articulately. Every now and again, stop to ask your child a spelling of a word, or its meaning. Don't do this throughout, or it will cease to be an activity of enjoyment.

It is a good idea to be slightly more structured about your reading sessions. Try and read to your child everyday, preferably at the same time. A good idea is to read a chapter from a novel to your child at bedtime. Instead of resisting against turning in for the night, your child will then actually look forward to getting in bed and being read to. This would also help you structure his bedtime and establish more of a routine.

Read a story one night, an article from a child's magazine another night, a poem a third night, and a comic book a fourth. You could even try reading stories from your child's literature syllabus, unless he objects.

Very often there will be demands from your child to hear the same story over and over, even though he may know the entire text by heart. Indulge your child, don't force him to listen to something else. No doubt you would like your child to learn knew words from different stories, but reading to him is not just about vocabulary building. It is as much an exercise in bonding and spending quality time. Here are some of the benefits of reading to your child.


Concentration

Reading aloud to your child helps improves your child's grasp of a language and increases his concentration span. Don't worry if your baby doesn't pay much attention when you are reading aloud to him. Babies have very short attention spans. As your baby grows older, you will notice him being more and more attentive.


Literature

Children who are read to also generally grow up to be good readers, with a love for literature.


Confidence

When your child is a little older, take turns reading to your child, and having him read back to you. This will improve his vocabulary, diction and confidence when speaking.


Bonding

Although you may not realize it, your baby is learning when you read, and he is growing to love you even more. Your voice makes him feel secure and builds his confidence, and the bond that you share, grows even stronger. Your child will enjoy and treasure these moments, possibly for the rest of his life.

"My father would read to me once in a while, and those memories are one of the best memories I have about my childhood. I only wish he read to me more often. Now, I make it a point to read aloud to my children every night. It doesn't take more than fifteen minutes a day, and it makes them so happy, it's a crime to deny them this joy!"


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