Reading to Preschool Children – One of the Most Important Steps Parents Can Do

It’s never too early to start reading to your preschool children. In fact, some mothers read to their children weeks before they are born. And according to research (DeCasper, Lecanuet, Busnel, & Granier-Deferre, 1994), babies not yet born can actually respond to their mother’s voices.

Daily reading to preschoolers can be the single most important thing parents can do for giving them the best chances of success in school. Tell your child how much you love reading to him or her. And make your “story time” the best time of the day! Entertain your child be adding fun voice inflections to the text. Give each character a special voice! You can also point out the protagonist and other characters in the story and what they are doing on each page.

A Children’s Book –
Pictures and Words Contribute to Your Child’s Success!

When you show your child pictures, read your child words, and play out the parts in the story, all of these interactions help build language skills, symbol representation, and cognitive skills for the preschooler. So – what cognitive skills can help my child you ask?

According to Bloom’s Classification of Cognitive Skills, there are six categories. These categories include: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Reading children’s books can help your child with …

1. Knowledge (recall a fascinating picture or point , such as an extremely interesting page in the children’s book.)
2. Comprehension (understanding something that has already been communicated, such as all manatees have flippers.)
3. Application (using previously learned information in new situations, such as drawing a manatee.)
4. Analysis (breaking something down into parts, such as comparing and contrasting a manatee, a seahorse, and a hermit crab.)
5. Synthesis (creating something new from putting ideas together, such as combining the unlikely friendship of a manatee and shark to make a new story.)
6. Evaluation (judging with the use of criteria, such as always going back to a child’s favorite page in a particular children’s book.)

So put aside that special “story time” each day for both you and your child. And if your child points to and wants you to read his or her favorite book again, for the 500th time, go for it. You will be increasing your child’s chances for success in school each time you do!

~ Robert Scott Thayer