Researchers’ advice about reading is… don’t be a book snob. Encourage your children to read anything and everything (within reason) whether it be picture books, comics or child-friendly websites. It doesn’t matter what they read as long as they read. So, don’t push your children past picture books.
Children who appreciate reading will be good readers and this has a profound effect on their grammar, sentence construction and vocabulary. We, at Capulum College, cannot emphasise the value of reading, enough, because reading is imperative for brain development. Read to your children, and with your children, and ensure there is ‘reading time’ before bed.
Children are introduced to the written language primarily through picture books. Picture books are not only fun, colourful and eye-catching, they are an important means to introducing children to literacy, language skills and comprehension. Connecting the pictures on the page to the text helps children understand the words, as well as connecting them with the meaning of the words through the pictures.
Large amounts of text on a page can be dauting for some children. Picture books – and comics – with limited words allow children to read at their own pace and, through the illustrations, they are able to comprehend the storyline. This ignites their imaginations and allows creativity to develop. Pictures can be very emotive, and this can result in a child’s appreciation of art.
The text in picture books is often rhythmic which helps children recognise patterns and sounds within language. This awareness of sounds in spoken language is vital for learning the sound patterns of words. Talking about the illustrations in the book helps improve vocabulary and discussing the story – the topics covered and the meaning – activates the ability to comprehend.
Being read to improves children’s listening skills and reading to oneself helps keep children focussed and in the present. Once your child is in the habit of reading, the introduction of non-fiction picture books adds another dimension to the value of reading. He/she will be learning about new topics as well.
Reading every day is highly recommended. Why, you may ask. The following reasons may convince you.
- You learn something from everything you read.
- Reading gives the brain a workout and enhances your memory.
- It offers entertainment, enjoyment and reduces stress.
- Communication skills are improved through reading.