Why You Should Read Aloud to Your Children from Birth
Reading aloud to your children is a critical part of the learning process, one that will help them develop the vocabulary and skills necessary to read on their own. In fact, a recent New York Times article discussed the announcement of a new policy from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) which stresses the importance of read-aloud time for infants and their parents. The AAP now urges parents to read aloud to their children from infancy to help build the pre-literacy skills needed for pre-school and kindergarten. Studies have shown that children who have developed these pre-literacy skills tend to have larger vocabularies than students without them. Similarly, students with advanced pre-literacy skills perform better academically once they enter elementary school.
The new policy encourages reading, as well as talking and singing to help increase the number of words that children hear during their first few years. The article also suggests that reading should be a fun, daily family activity from infancy.
While this new policy by the AAP is a recent development, the importance of early childhood education and the development of pre-literacy skills is a crucial concept that has been ingrained within the Kumon Program and the teachings of Toru Kumon. Toru Kumon promoted this idea of reading and developing pre-literacy skills at an early age with the phrase “reading before the age of three.”
In an essay written by Toru Kumon it states, “Children can easily learn to read before the age of three if you have children listen to songs and read to them.” Through memorizing songs, children can increase their vocabulary and develop their ability to learn by heart, which in turn helps form the basis for self-learning. By exposing children to songs and books at an early age, parents can provide them with opportunities to build their familiarity with reading and can help increase their vocabulary. In doing so, children also develop their abilities to think actively while listening to stories and picturing the scenes described. By singing songs to your children and reading aloud to them, you can help strengthen their pre-literacy skills and prepare them for their academic future.