The Benefits Books Provide a Growing Mind

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Reading is one of the main building blocks of literacy.

When fostered early in life, reading becomes a base upon which to build other important literacy skills, including listening, speaking and writing.

“Reading promotes language and vocabulary development as well as comprehension. The more one reads, the more fluent they become,” says Dr. Carrie Shiraki-Sakaino, PhD, educational liaison with the Child Life department at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children.

Parents play an important role in establishing positive reading habits in their child’s life.

“The earlier we can establish reading ‘rituals’ and ‘routines,’ the more responsible and accountable children will be for their own learning,” Shiraki-Sakaino says.

A “ritual” refers to how things are done, and a “routine” means consistently doing the ritual the same way.

To create a reading ritual at home, Shiraki-Sakaino suggests the following:

  • Turn off all devices.

  • Pick out a quiet space to read.

  • Establish who will be reading. (Will a parent be reading, or will your child?)

To create a reading routine, parents are advised to:

  • Decide how books will be chosen, and from where. One idea is to let your child select a few books from the local library each week.

  • Set a timeframe for how long the reading session takes place, and have a signal for how reading time ends.

  • Hold a brief discussion about what your child read. Get creative with your questions! Instead of "Did you like the book?" try these suggestions:

    • Would you want to be friends with any of the characters?

    • Do you think the title of the book matches the story?

    • If you could write a different ending, what would you change?

  • When reading is done for the day, put books back in their designated spaces.

“Once rituals and routines are in place, the richer the reading experience will be for all,” Shiraki-Sakaino says.



Published on: November 20, 2018