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Reading at home

Why is reading so important?

Studies show that reading for pleasure makes a big difference to children’s educational performance. Here’s how you can get your child off to a great start.

Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures.

In fact, reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background.

What difference can I make as a parent?

You can make a huge difference! Parents are the most important educators in a child’s life – even more important than their teachers – and it’s never too early to start reading together.

Even before they're born, babies learn to recognise their parents' voices. Reading to your baby from birth, even for just a few minutes a day, gives them the comfort of hearing your voice and increases their exposure to language.

 

Reading and sharing stories can:

  • help your child get to know sounds, words and language, and develop  literacy skills
  • learn to value books and stories
  • spark your child’s imagination and stimulate curiosity
  • help develop your child’s brain, ability to focus, concentration, social skills and communication skills
  • help your child learn the difference between ‘real’ and ‘make-believe’
  • help your child understand new or frightening events, and the strong emotions that come with them
  • help your child learn about the world, their own culture and other cultures.

 

Sharing stories with your child doesn’t mean you have to read from the book.

Just by looking at books with your child and talking about them, you can be a great storyteller and a good model for using language and books. Your child will learn by watching you hold a book the right way and seeing how you move through the book by gently turning the pages.

Reading stories with children has benefits for grown-ups too. The special time you spend reading together promotes bonding and helps to build your relationship with your child.

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