One of the most important skills your child can learn is reading. Besides counting, it is probably the first intellectual skill addressed in the school systems. However, it’s beneficial for your children to give them a head start so that they are already beginning to read upon entering school. What advantages do kids have when they begin reading prior to entering school, and just how far should you go in teaching your child to read?
While it is certainly not expected that a five-year-old in kindergarten could pick up a Stephen King novel and read it, it’s a great idea to put your child in a position to be ahead of the average child in his or her reading ability. Progressing beyond The Cat in the Hat is certainly not frowned on, though your child may then be bored by kindergarten reading assignments. A good teacher for this age group recognizes that kids are at different levels and adjusts for each child’s needs.
By teaching your own child to read, you are assuring that he or she gets one-on-one attention and a customized curriculum, if you will, so that progression can occur at the desired pace. You can also make sure that your child finds reading fun, which is important. If it’s not fun, they won’t want to do it! Plenty of educational benefits are gleaned from material that is also wildly entertaining!
By learning to read early, children are set up to pay more attention to other aspects of school, including learning social skills, teamwork, and other such necessary traits to succeed in daily life. Getting a head start allows a child to progress further as well, so that later in life, the individual’s vocabulary is extensive and far exceeds the average individual in both reading and speaking ability.
Well-read individuals, especially those who can credit their success to the diligence of parents who were willing to take time and teach them as children, are known to progress farther in school, in college, and in the workplace. Often, because their knowledge is broadened by the range of topics on which they’ve read, they are also more socially involved, with the ability to engage in conversation with others on a wide variety of topics in an intelligent, informed manner.
Starting your child off with the ability to read early is one way to set him or her on the right foot to begin the journey through school and through life. The more you teach them, the less likely they are to struggle in the future, and the more self-confidence they’ll have in themselves and their abilities.