Sunday, August 26, 2012

Nurturing a Reader

The start of the school year focuses parents on reading as an academic skill, but, really, learning to read should begin in infancy, long before children can even turn a page for themselves, much less before they enter a classroom.

Letters and words and illustrations and even photographs are really symbols, something that the human brain is somehow hardwired to grasp and create almost from the beginning; Parents who introduce their little ones to that form of communication early on are helping them become fully human--and of course, readers.

[Note: The father shown above is reading a book saved from his own days as a tot. The baby in the picture was two months old at the time. He is now a third-grader, and will no doubt finish the final Harry Potter book by the time he celebrates his eighth birthday in November.]

I'm often asked how to "make" a child become a reader, but it is usually a naturally developing ability if the child's environment includes lots of books and words and paper and pencils and being read to every day. You can read my interview in the BizyMoms box on the right sidebar, but don't just take it from me. Check out this article that says it well from Common Sense Media. And take time to sit down and read for yourself in your child's presence as often as possible! It's true. You are your child's first and most important teacher.



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