It is the first day of kindergarten and so many questions are running through your head as a parent. The main question I recall having when dropping off my son for his first day of kinder was:
Is he ready for this?
There wasn’t a manual on things to do when preparing your toddler for kindergarten and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Since then, I have joined our CFBISD family as an advocator and educator in/outside of the classroom.
My colleague and I sat down and had an in-depth discussion on the current classroom expectations for kindergartners and the importance of the parents introducing various experiences while guiding discussions and questioning with young children.
**News flash parents**
It makes a tremendous difference in the transitioning your child from a toddler to a kindergarten. These experiences can occur by simply reading books to your child.
Reading books aloud to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. In 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued its first-ever policy statement focused on literacy promotion, calling for pediatricians to advise all parents about the many benefits of reading aloud, which promotes literacy and social-emotional skills. It helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word.
Here are seven benefits of reading to your child:
1. Basic Speech Skills
Throughout toddler-hood and preschool, your child is learning critical language and enunciation skills. By listening to you read your child is reinforcing the basic sounds that form language. “Pretend reading”—when a toddler pages through a book with squeals and jabbers of delight—is a very important pre-literacy activity. As a preschooler, your child will likely begin sounding out words on his own.
2. Mastery of Language
Early reading for toddlers has been linked to a better grasp of the fundamentals of language as they approach school age.
3. Better Communication Skills
When you spend time reading to toddlers, they’ll be much more likely to express themselves and relate to others in a healthy way. By witnessing the interactions between the characters in the books you read, as well as the contact with you during story time, your child is gaining valuable communication skills.
4. Academic Excellence
One of the primary benefits of reading to toddlers and preschoolers is a higher aptitude for learning in general. Numerous studies have shown that students who are exposed to reading before preschool are more likely to do well in all facets of formal education. After all, if a student struggles to put together words and sentences, how can he be expected to grasp the math, science, and social concepts he’ll be presented with when he begins elementary school?
5. More Logical Thinking
Another illustration of the importance of reading to children is their ability to grasp abstract concepts, apply logic in various scenarios, recognize cause and effect, and utilize good judgment. As your toddler or preschooler begins to relate the scenarios in books to what’s happening in his own world, he’ll become more excited about the stories you share.
6. Enhanced Concentration & Discipline
Toddlers may initially squirm and become distracted during story time, but eventually they’ll learn to stay put for the duration of the book. Along with reading comprehension comes a stronger self-discipline, longer attention span, and better memory retention, all of which will serve your child well when she enters school and assists with building stamina!
7. The Knowledge of Reading is Fun
Early reading for toddlers helps them view books as an indulgence, not a chore. Kids who are exposed to reading are much more likely to choose books over video games, television, and other forms of entertainment as they grow older.
Learn More Skills for your kindergartner and get your questions answered at our event:
In helping your child develop literacy and social-emotional intelligence, you are giving them the gift of walking into a kindergarten classroom ready for learning!
Written by NaTonia LaFreniere & Debra Puente
Here is an informational video that will help explain more: