If there's one day all South African parents and educators should have marked off on their calendar, it's World Read Aloud Day!
Celebrated every year on 5 February, World Read Aloud Day is set aside as a reminder of just how powerful reading to children really is.
According to READ Educational Trust, this alarming statistic need not persist into the new decade, and here the Gauteng-based organisation presents three reasons you should start reading to your child every day.
Strengthens vocabulary and listening skills
Reading aloud holds so many rewards. For one, this activity promotes a stronger vocabulary. One of the main ways in which children hone their language skills is through listening.
Kids don't just hear the word in isolation; they are exposed to the context in which that word is used.
This opens up a world of possibility for them and expands their communication potential.
Tip: Put off your phone! Choose a book based on your child's interests and make sure you read it like you mean it: the right book, read by an enthusiastic reader, can make a world of difference.
Reading helps your child put their feelings into words
A well-written story can communicate coping skills to children who might be faced with a particular problem.
Reading aloud can provide a safe way of identifying emotions in the classroom or home setting, think of a topic like bullying, for example. A gripping tale on the subject could encourage children to express their feelings and helps diffuse emotions.
Top tip: Make time to discuss the moral of the story with your child, so that if they are facing troubling issues, they'll bring it up during discussion time.
Promotes bonding and builds relationships
Both in the classroom and at home, reading aloud undoubtedly encourages bonding. The quality time helps parents unwind as well; reinforces relationships and helps kids develop their social and interpersonal skills.
And if you remain unconvinced about the benefits of reading aloud to your child, here's a few other reasons:
Just 20 minutes of reading aloud to your kids each day could result in them earning over R50K per year more than those who weren't exposed to this bonding experience.
Ethnikids founder, Khumo Tapfumaneyi, tells us all the reasons you should be including these locally penned African history books to your child's reading repertoire.
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For more information about READ Educational Trust visit Read.org.za.
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