“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” - Emilie Hutchwald
We often associate reading with academics. Recently, while at the grocery store, I overheard two mothers discussing why they valued reading. Both women were mothers to children under 2 and both women seemingly valued education. They discussed how important it was to read to their young children in hopes that it would pave the way to academic success.
While there is a direct correlation between reading and academic success, academics is not the only thing affected by ones ability and interest in reading. Reading to children is very important for their development. Cognitive development is related to how we perceive and think about the world. Our intelligence, reasoning, language development and ability to process information is involved with cognitive development. Reading to children provides them with background information needed for background knowledge. That background knowledge is used to make sense of what they experience, see, and hear.
Reading also helps children develop empathy. We often put ourselves into the stories we read. Children can gain understanding of emotions which translates to understanding their own emotions. This impacts social development.
Children can focus easier as a result of reading. When reading consistently, a child gets practice being still and listening. We read to children so that they can be introduced to new words, experiences, and topics. A book holds endless possibilities for creative exploration and can serve as fuel for the imagination.
Reading, education, and literacy are all important factors to a successful life. However, it is important to understand the other ways that reading impacts young minds and sets them on the track for success!