Reading to your baby: when to start
Books present a great opportunity to develop your intellect, ability to think and empathize, a chance to understand yourself and … to feel how sweet it is to fall asleep while listening to the tale that Mom or Dad reads.
But when is it better to start reading to your baby? When your baby turns 1 year? Read to a baby since birth? Since conception? Learning to read is truly effective when the brain grows, and it decreases significantly when the brain growth stops. Just think — for the first 6 months after birth, the human brain reaches already half of its potential, by the age of 3 its growth is completed by 70–80%, and by the age of 8 it is almost finished!
The development of the brain, and hence of the child’s intellect, begins at birth. In the first years of life, the baby learns a huge amount of information about the world around him, literally absorbing new knowledge. At this time, parents should support the natural craving of the child for discoveries and new knowledge.
Psychologists recommend to actively introduce the book into the children’s “diet” from the moment when the baby learns to crawl. There are a lot of wonderful books for babies which can be grabbed and even tasted by the little explorers.
You can use all sorts of books with drawings, fairy tales, which tell you about some really simple things, for example, how to wash, eat, play.
Teaching children from one year to 2 years
Children of this age are restless and tend to demonstrate their character traits. Ordinary ABCs and books that teach to read are not suitable for the kid. Reading should be a game, not a lesson — this requires a certain creativity from the parents.
In order for the lessons to be interesting for the child of 1–2 years, you need to think in advance of games that you can play, and try to adapt them as much as possible for your little student. Classes require parents patience and perseverance.
In the period from one year to two years, you can start reading at night. Some short stories and folk tales are very suitable — children can listen to them with a great pleasure several times. It’s important to remember that rhymed lines are better perceived by children than prose. In general, there should be a lot of poems in the world of the little baby. When reading poetry, add emotions — you do not recite the telephone directory! Do you think you are not an actor? Just try — and on the face of your little rabbit you will see: you are just great at doing it!
The general rule for learning to read children from infancy to 3 years: try to answer the question “Why do we need all this?”. It’s not for the kid to be known as a genius or for your pedagogical talents to cause admiration in others. After all, it is not just the skill of reading what is important. The main thing is to make your child love reading. If you are not sure that you and your child really like reading together, postpone this activity until the kid himself shows interest in letters and bright magazines.
By the age of 3 the child becomes more sociable, he has more and more “why”, speech becomes free, and vocabulary — sufficient for the beginning of conscious learning. By the same time, a connection between the left and right hemispheres of the brain has been established, which has a positive effect on coordination, perception of new information and abilities to learn. 3 years is a great age to start learning to read.
Reading at 3 years is useful and effective, because it helps your child:
• to develop thinking, increase vocabulary when reading new words;
• to remember the spelling of words, which helps to write correctly in the future;
• to learn the standards of composing sentences, which is important for the proper construction of speech;
• to understand the world, develop intelligence and self-education.
Teaching reading in the period from 3 to 7 years must necessarily take place in a game form and bring joy to the kid. At this age you can not impose any occupation! Carefully observe the reaction of the child to the proposed game with letters — if there is no interest, then it is better to either change the game or try it next time. And if everything goes well, and the kid likes the proposed game, then it is better to stop before the child starts to get tired of it. Then next time the exercise will continue with delight.
Parents’ enthusiasm and the excellent mood of the young researcher — that’s what determines the success of any undertaking. Often praise your baby, rejoice at his every success, and then teaching reading will bring joy to you and your child. And as a result your child will love reading!
Nicola Smart Parental Control
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