Most of my novels include children. I'm a mom and many moons ago, I taught second and sixth grades, as well as high school English. Kids and books have always been a big part of my life. (The collection of kids' books in the photo above are books I've selected to give as presents to children in my life.)
One scene I usually include in the plot line of my novels is a parent or possible parent reading the child a story. I believe strongly that there are many reasons to read to kids. Here are a few benefits for your child if you encourage this past time.
LEARNING TO LISTEN
First of all, if a parent creates an atmosphere for story-time, a child learns that listening is important. Listening is an art we all have to cultivate to be successful socially and professionally. Story-time defines a quiet time when audio comprehension is important. Repeated story-times advance and help a child practice listening for content and meaning.
MATCHING PICTURES WITH WORDS
Description is essential in daily life. We have to describe places, situations and people when we have a conversation. Listening to a story and watching the pictures aids comprehension and creates visual images to accompany the words.
FOLLOWING A STORYLINE
Children's attention spans are short. By starting early with reading short fables, nursery rhymes or fairy tales, a child learns how to follow a storyline. He learns about beginnings and ends, how characters change and grow. With each year, his attention span can grow longer. This will help him learn in school.
APPRECIATING BOOKS AND THE WRITTEN WORD
From a child's first book, she or he can learn to appreciate the written word. Books can make a two- year-old laugh, a five-year-old appreciate someplace he or she has never been, an eight-year-old feel emotion. A child can escape into a different world, learn information for later in life, learn about a life different from his or hers. Words can become valuable tools that stretch not only their vocabulary but their lives.
Children are usually self-centered. Teaching empathy can be difficult. But listening to a character in a story be kind, or selfless, or brave can be an example of future behavior to model. If a child becomes involved with a character's plight, he might be able to understand his brother's or sister's a little better!
THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON TO READ TO YOUR CHILD
Reading a child a story creates a bonding time for just the two of you to share. It's a special time to look forward to. It's one-on-one time in which only you and your child and the story matters. Sharing reading adventures create a unique history between the two of you separate from everyday life.
Reading to a child is a priceless experience.
Because reading is important to me, I chose to give my heroine in CASSIDY'S COWBOY the learning disability of dyslexia. It kept her from learning to read until she had an important enough reason to learn.
©2013 Karen Rose Smith
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