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Is reading to my child necessary?

"My child isn't able to speak yet so why do I need to read to him/her?" or "My child will not sit still for 2 minutes, it makes no sense for me to pull out a book anymore." These are a couple of the reasons we hear as Speech-Language Pathologists as to why some parents aren't reading to their children.

If you knew how important reading was to you child's language development, would it change your outlook on reading to your child at an early age?

Reading has several advantages such as neurological development, educational development, and increased linguistic skills.

Neurologically, reading helps with the development of your child's brain. This is the reason we are encouraged to talk, read, and sing to our children as much as possible even before they are born. You would be surprised to know how much their brains are being stimulated with all of the information they are absorbing.

As it relates to education, we know that having excellent reading skills is one of the main foundations to help our children succeed in school. It has been proven that literacy development correlates to increased reading ability. As we read to our children on a daily basis, they are constantly expanding their vocabulary skills while increasing their ability to become fluent readers. As fluent readers, children are more likely to comprehend what they are reading.

When we talk about linguistics, we think about the study of language as it relates to form, meaning, and context. So when we talk about an increase in linguistic skills, we are looking at a child's ability to use correct grammar, use vocabulary words from daily reading, and the ability to write about what they are reading. When a child has increased linguistic skills, it sets them up for higher chances at succeeding not only in school but also in the world around them.

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." - Emilie Buchwld

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