Reading from Day 1
Reading to my child was something I always knew I wanted to do, even before I knew if I wanted children or not. This started because it was a good memory I have of my mother and me. I don't necessarily remember when my mother started reading to me, but I do remember her and I reading a book; or a chapter of a book once I was older, every night before bed. It was part of our routine, and whether you or your child want to admit it, children like routine. And so do you.
Once I was older, I realized that my mother did it because of my grandmother. Not because my grandma read to my mother, but because my grandma isn't the best at English writing and reading. It was very important to her that all of her (six) children knew how to read and write, better than her. Which, they do. My mother continued this and read to me often.
I've always liked writing and reading. Reading helps create curiosity, which is something I promote in my dogs, so of course, I would be wanting this in my child. Curiosity leads to knowledge, and knowledge is power. It can be freedom.
I started reading to Arik the day I got home from the hospital, but everyone thought it was too soon. Not that I cared what they thought, but it still got me thinking. Am I crazy to start reading to him already? When should I start reading to him? So, some light internet digging began.
According to a survey done in 2008 by Scholastic, 48% of parents reported reading to their child when the child was less than 1 year old. That's honestly, more than I thought. Good job parents! Once the child hit 2, the percentage went up 17%, and then once they turned 3 the percentage was at 80%! Hey, I was still impressed by the number. Yes, of course, I wish it would say 100% but unfortunately, that's unrealistic.
The benefits for newborn age is mostly for bonding. But, it soon leads to exploration and learning. That's where the fun begins. Books can be fun to look at, listen to, and of course touch. The more things a baby touches, the less is scary later on.
It also helps with their vocabulary, even when they can't talk yet. Babbling at a young age is a great sign of how much you communicate with your child. Reading opens us and them to words we might not often say in our everyday lives. Giving them more room to grow.
Arik still can't talk (he's only 6 months after all), but he sure does like trying! Especially in the mornings, he's all about life when he first wakes up. We have the same morning routine every day, and he enjoys it - especially feeding the animals part.
For being so young, he has a pretty big bookshelf if I say so myself. We get a new book at least once a month, thanks to Dolly Parton's Imagination Library! Though I typically buy a book, and a friend and I also have our own "book club" if you will where we send each other's children a new book every month. So, as you can imagine it'll continue to grow vastly with time!
What's in your child's library?
Join the Dolly Parton's Imagination Library - it's free!