The miraculous learning advantage you can give your child
PARENTS are being told to read to their newborn babies to increase their literacy skills later in life.
Associate Professor Patricia Eadie said books and storytelling could be introduced to children as young as three months.
“Once a child or baby can be sitting and looking at things, there is no reason why that can’t be a board book,” she said. “The key thing is that it provides a way of learning and hearing new words.
“In the early years, it is all about building a foundation. What parents do at home matters a lot.”
Prof Eadie said there was a “strong relationship” between the number of times children were read to and their literacy skills later in life.
An Early Language In Victoria study found reading to youngsters resulted in better literacy and spelling. By age four, the reading skills of a child read to every day is a year ahead of those read to just twice a week. Those read to about three to five times a week were six months ahead.
Some of the best tips for reading to very young children include: Trace your finger under the word you are reading; describe pictures you or your child touches, for example “look at that ...” or “you found a ...”; sit close so you can see your child’s eyes as they look at the book and; read books in a “conversational” way.
As your children get older, the experience can be further expanded.
This can be done by asking them to predict what will happen next, and asking them what was their favourite part.
The Premier’s Reading Challenge wants tots — and their parents — to hit the books years ahead of school.
Read to your child every day