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By Halli Rydholm

What can your child learn through reading?

According to the Department of Justice, “21 million Americans can’t read at all, 45 million are marginally illiterate and one-fifth of high school graduates can’t read their diplomas.” Why is it so important that children read? What skills can your child learn from reading? Below are some answers to these questions.

  • Memorization

Reading can help increase your child’s memory. Learning to sound out those words and be able to recognize them is the basis of learning to read and will soon become second nature to your child. Give them a wide variety of books to read at their reading level, and you may notice your child finds a favorite and eventually memorizes it. Practice makes perfect. Repetition is important, and memorizing an entire book can only help.

  • Increased vocabulary

“Vocabulary” consists of the words children need to know to be able to communicate effectively. Reading is a great way for your child to increase their vocabulary. When your child is ready, consider adding books that are a level above their current reading level. Reading books above their comfort level will help increase their vocabulary as well as their reading skills.

  • Language development

In addition to increasing vocabulary, reading can also help develop language for your child. As your child learns to read and better comprehends what he or she reads, they will begin to better develop their language. This, in turn, helps with speech and even communication.

  • Better communication skills

By reading to your child, or having them read by themselves, you will help them to be better able to communicate. Observing interactions with characters in the stories they read helps them understand communication. They are also learning communication by discussing what you have read together or what they have read on their own.

  • Academic excellence

No one wants their child to be a statistic and not be able to read. One way to assure your child can read and better increase their chances of academic excellence is to read to them when they are still infants and toddlers; for an infant, start with large books that show many pictures and the meanings of those pictures. As your child gets older, begin to read more picture books to them with a solid story line. Studies have shown that the more a child is read to growing up, the more likely they will be able to read better as they get older. The better your child reads, the less they will struggle in school and in adulthood.

Reading has long been known to be beneficial to children. Some ways to ensure your child is on course with reading is to read with them, frequent the library, find what types of books they enjoy and make them readily available. You can never read too much to your child. To set them on a course for success, make reading part of daily life.

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