We have all heard about how important it is to read to our kids, but what I am talking about here is why you should begin reading to them daily, asap, as young infants (though if your child is older remember that it is never too late to start!).
Reason #1 — From the moment the child is born their brain begins to collect information about the world around them. The more they encounter something, a certain word for example, the more their brain believes that that item is important. This is how things get stored in long-term memory to be remembered later on. When they are regularly read to it helps them begin to recognize vocabulary and the way sentences are formed (also known as syntax).
Reason #2 — Two words: attention span. Anyone who waits until their child is a toddler to begin to read to them often finds that it is difficult to get their child to sit still for more than just a few minutes at a time. Reading to them daily from infancy, and making it part of a regular routine such as before bedtime, helps TREMENDOUSLY. My son T is definitely in the category of being a high energy two-year-old, but (and I kid you not) he can sit for a solid hour as I read to him.
Reason #3 — By the time they enter kindergarten the children who get read to nightly are VERY obvious because their academic abilities are just so much higher than that of their peers. When I was nineteen-years-old I worked as a teacher’s aid at an elementary school. One of the things I did was assess all of their students’ reading abilities in different ways. At the end of each assessment, just for my own personal curiosity, I would ask the child if their parents read to them every night. Guess what? Every single student who did well on that assessment answered “yes.”
Reason #4 — Confidence. Children who excel academically tend to have a lot more confidence in the classroom.