Benefits of Early Reading

Why teach your child to read?

Teaching your child to read early and well has multiple benefits and is the key to your child’s academic future. The main reason is that reading is at the heart of all formal education. Below are some of the many advantages of developing early reading ability in your child.

Neurological Reasons

Reading helps to develop a young child’s brain. In the first six years, children learn at a much faster pace than at any other time in their lives. Vital connections in the brain are made very early in life. At birth, a healthy baby is born with approximately 200 billion active brain cells or neurons. Given the right kind of stimulation, each of these brain cells is capable of sprouting up to 20,000 different dendrites / branches and synapses / connections between them which store additional information. These connections, which are a direct result of stimulation the child receives through early experiences, form the basis of all future learning and intellectual ability.

As parents talk, sing and read to their children, existing links among brain cells are strengthened and new links are formed. At a younger age, learning is faster than it will be as the child grows older. When a child is taught to read, the process of learning has a profound influence on the entire functioning and development of the brain. You can play a critical early role by inculcating not only reading skills and ability but more importantly, instilling a lifelong love of learning and reading.

Educational Reasons

Reading opens the door to your child’s early academic success, imparts a love of learning and leads to higher grades in every subject. Numerous studies have shown that strong oral language skills are the basis for literacy development. When children learn to read at an early age, they have greater general knowledge, expand their vocabulary and become more fluent readers. They also have improved attention spans and better concentration. Early readers can recognize a larger number of words by sight, which enables them to learn more from and about their environment.

Their proficiency in reading enables them to comprehend more of what they are reading. They also become competent researchers, who are able to study effectively and extract relevant and necessary information from books, magazines, websites or other sources of information.

Only by mastering effective reading strategies can the child pick up the necessary knowledge and information, which will enable him or her to excel scholastically in the future. It is interesting to note that early readers not only become lifelong readers, but also lifelong learners. Longitudinal studies have shown that early readers continue to get higher grades than their peers through grade school.

Linguistic Reasons

Children who can read independently and early have more opportunities to encounter the written word. The sooner children learn how to read, the more books, knowledge, and ideas they will be exposed to. The result? Improved linguistic skills in the form of a richer vocabulary, correct grammar, improved writing, better spelling and more articulate oral communication. Such children have the opportunity to develop a wider vocabulary to describe their knowledge, observations and experiences. It has been shown that children with a richer vocabulary do far better in scholastic areas, especially in the early years. Their stronger reading skills also enable them to communicate more effectively orally as well as in writing. Furthermore, early readers can recognize a larger number of words by sight, which enables them to learn more from and about their environment.

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