Cody N. Tackett
The question is often posed to math teachers by their students, “Why do have to learn these equations?” To which the teacher usually replies, “Because you use math in your everyday life, even if you don’t realize it.” English teachers seem to receive this question much less frequently, but the same argument can be made for reading and analyzing literature and texts in a child’s upbringing; we read every day, even if we don’t realize it.
Reading opens the expansive world to a small child who’s perception is limited only to their close family and proximities. Reading expands a child’s perceptions by exposing them to different regions, cultures, as well as issues that the child may face during their lifetime. It’s important for parents to begin reading to their children before they are able to read themselves as this will help boost their cognitive develoment to allow them to be able to read.
Reading cultivates an analytical mind in children, which will help them in nearly every aspect of their lives. As people, we must make rational decisons every day, such as what to eat, and what to do i which we must weigh “cost and benefits.” Reading fosters the ability to analyze, which leads to a child being able to analyze every decision they make in the most rational way possible. It also teaches children how to ask questions when they don’t quite understand something in the story, which helps improve learning in the child by helping them know what kind of questions to ask.
Reading to a child will also help them to communicate more effectively, as they hear language being spoken by the reader, which over time will lead to phonemic awareness, or being able to use the language that they hear in their own language. This leads to them being able to communicate through speech, which will be used every day of their lives in order to convey their needs and wants, or to express their opinions and standpoints on a diverse array of issues (most of which the child will become aware of through reading).
Reading to a child helps the child develop empathy for the world around them as it makes them more aware of their surroundings. The themes of children’s books are typically based on kindness and love, which teaches a child to care for others as well as for the world around them. Although children’s books paint the world as a place “out of a fairy tale,” this is done because a child doesn’t need to be exposed to the evil in the world, but rather a child needs to develop an emphathetic mindset so that they won’t spread unkindness and evil themselves, which would make the world a better place.
Lastly, reading to a child helps them develop a strong imagaination that will go a long way to helping them to find creative methods of performing tasks, or providing collective insight to projects they may be associated with. The wide array of cultures and lifestyles that a child is exposed to through books will help bring a diversified input to any board or committee meeting that the child may be apart of in their adult life.
Reading is important for everyone, not just children. There isn’t a person in the world that is able to see through each of the lenses of every culture and every person therein. Reading tranports a person to a different place or time, and for children this is vital in order to show that their perception isn’t the only perception, and in order to function in the world, that child needs to realize that fact. If a child isn’t read to, that child will likely be behind their peers in school, and will be at a disadvantage as the habit of reading hasn’t been instilled in them.
1. Collier, Ellie. “Why is Reading so Important to Children?”High Speed Training (HUB). May 24, 2019. Retrived from: https://www.highspeedtraining.co.uk/hub/why-is-reading-important-for-children/
2. Grandidier, Geraldine. “15 Ways Reading Benefits Children”. Tidy Books. Retrieved from: https://www.tidybooks.com/blog/why-reading-is-important-for-children/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAr5iQBhCsARIsAPcwROMIpvRv-SDQPJlsdFdnLzTX7Iz92nhfRIHZXP-l0dGAfUiAHfxObXkaAobpEALw_wcB
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