If you're not part of the reading with your child club, please give me a chance to persuade you!
There's nothing quite like curling up on the couch, reading with your child, unless it's when you reach a point where you take turns reading aloud while doing something else (driving, cooking…).
Growing up, reading with my mom was my favorite part of the day. There's the adventure, the closeness, something to talk about because of the shared experience…
I'm a hug person, and my mom isn't. But reading together was her way of hugging me. Up until I married, we still read together. Now, we share books and talk about them, even if we aren't living in the same house anymore.
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Benefits of Reading with Your Child:
There are deep, long-lasting benefits of parents reading to their child. This shared experience opens up so many opportunities!
For one thing, the bonding that happens is amazing.
Time– If you're reading with your child, you are spending time together. You're not distracted by Facebook or the game…
Touch– You usually have them sitting next to you (or in your lap).
Service– You're meeting a need. They can't read yet, or not well maybe. Or with older kids, leading the adventure is an act of service.
The book could be a gift.
Words of Affirmation– If you interact, you could ask questions about what did or might happen, and praise their ideas and efforts.
Ok, so you just covered the 5 Love Languages in one story! That's one incredible reason why reading with your child is something to love!
Nearly every book teaches something, whether it's a fact, moral or idea. Some of them are positive, and some are “why is this a bad idea?”
One of the benefits of parents reading with their child is this. You can help shape their learning. By discussing what you are reading with your child, you can help them understand new concepts, facts, and ideas. Reading aloud with children makes teachable moments easier! You're learning from someone else's mistakes and successes, instead of having to figure it out on your own. Children's Bible Storybooks and other Christian books for kids are helpful here!
You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.” Deuteronomy 11:19 NASB
Kids are always learning, and you want to help them process and understand, ideally sharing your worldview.
This week, I stopped mid-story to ask which brother he thought had the right suggestion and he pointed to the one who was remembering mom's warning. Then I asked which one sounded more like him. He picked the one who wanted to set a trap to catch the bandit themselves. We had a good laugh and a chat about how to handle this kind of thing.
Reading the Bible with your kids is a great way to immerse them in God's word from an early age!
Grammar / Vocabulary / Pronunciation:
This is huge. By choosing good books and reading aloud to children, you give them the keys to proper grammar and pronunciation from the beginning.
Correct sentences will flow more naturally. They will pronounce words more accurately. And they learn new words, complete with context and meaning, ahead of “schedule!”
Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.' Proverbs 22:6 NASB Click To Tweet
Real Life Situations:
When they become teens, already having a habit of reading and discussing stories can keep them coming to you during the uncertain and confusing situations that happen as they mature and become independent.
Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 NASB
I firmly believe that reading with your child has life long benefits. I'm living proof! Mom often read the Bible with us, among other great books. When I took my annual test at the end of 5th grade, I scored an 11th-grade reading level, and reading (especially scripture) is still influencing many of my decisions!
For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.” 2 Timothy 1:5 NASB
If you allow yourself to love reading with your child, you will most likely inspire them to love reading for themselves, for all of these reasons and many others.
5 Tips for Reading With Your Child at Home
There are so many options, but here are a few simple tips for reading with your child at home (and on the go!):
- One of the best tips for reading with your child at home, or anywhere else, is to point to the words as you read. Just follow along, even if your timing isn't exact. This way, they connect the words you say with the text on the page. It will also make it easier as they begin to read!
- Have a Bible storybook or devotional that you read 1 chapter a day. Whether you read in the morning or evening, or middle of the day, this can be an awesome experience. Read with your child, and discuss!
- Take turns “reading the pictures” of new books from the Library, before you read the words. This can be so much fun, and may inspire them to write one day! Compare your made-up story with the one written, and vote for your favorite!
- As they learn to read, have them read part of whatever you are reading, whether its 2 words per page or they read one page and you read the next…
- Another One of my favorite tips for reading with your child at home, when life gets busy, turn to Audiobooks: you can use these wonderful files for reading with your child any time. Like while eating or coloring, or building Legos or cleaning the bathroom, or even while driving.
Where to Find Audio Books:
- Christian Audio
Effects of NOT Reading to your Child
This is hard to measure, and I'd rather not mention it, but the effects of not reading to your child are real. Each of the scenarios below are acceptable situations, in moderation. The effects are both products of my experience and imagination.
- There are lots of fun and educational activities that you can enjoy with your child, but if you miss the joys of reading together, you are both missing something very special.
- If you watch TV and movies instead of reading, you limit the capacity of the imagination. When everything is displayed in living color, what need is there of imagination?
- If you have a very active lifestyle, but one of your children can't participate or isn't athletic, and you don't make the time to sit down with a good book together you can block the lines of communication and could
- If you leave them to their own devices, well… The effects of not reading to your child can show up here, in trouble!
On the other hand, if you are in the habit of reading with your child, and spending any other meaningful time with them, the imaginative play they can create is awesome! *that's not to say they won't get in trouble, but hey, they just might invent something!
So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.' Psalm 90:12 NASB Click To Tweet
Reading Aloud to Children
Well, when you love Reading aloud to children, you will probably inspire a lifelong love of learning.
Some of my favorite memories from childhood are our beach days. We would go to the local beach and play for an hour, then all gather on the blanket for a snack and a book. My mom would read aloud, whether it was a textbook or a novel set in the time period we were studying.
After 20 minutes, we could go play again. We repeated that cycle for a few hours almost every Wednesday. (Homeschooling perk!)
My mom still loves reading aloud to children. And so do the kids! “Grandma read me a story?!? Please?” I mean, who could resist?
Moms, Dads, involve your child in the chores and don't stress over perfection. Leave time for! It's a privilege that needs to be cultivated. Enjoy reading with your child now, or you can miss an incredible experience!
So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 NASB
I have 2 questions for you:
- Which of the benefits of parents reading to their child makes you want to try it?
- Do you have any other tips for reading with your child at home that you would like to share with us?
Be sure to also read these posts on Christian Parenting and Motherhood:
- Praying for a Rebellious Teenager: 15 Teenage Prayer Ideas
- New Mom Anxiety: Three Truths to Find Hope and Peace
- Exhausted and Weary – Encouragement and Tips for New Moms