If you don’t know by now, I am passionate about instilling a love for reading in children. Apparently Australian author and Literary Studies professor, Mem Fox, and I share the same passion. She is the author of several nonfiction books for adults–as well as many wonderful children’s picture books. I’d like to share some of her insights offered in READING MAGIC: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever.
- The secret to fostering reading (and the love for literature) is quite simple: reading aloud to children from birth onward. Experts suggest 1,000 stories read aloud before the child begins to read.
- Only 25% of a child’s brain is developed at birth, but within the first year, a child learns all the sounds in her native language.
- Passive sounds/words (such as those heard from a television) don’t work as well as conversation to help foster language development. To encourage language and reading skills “for life,” children need to “talk back” to someone.
- The day a baby is born is the time to start reading aloud to him. Try to have a routine for reading aloud built into the child’s day—but also make books & reading available whenever the opportunity arises. The more a child has access to books, magazines, newspapers, etc. and sees his parents using them the more likely he will become a good reader.
That’s enough reading secrets for today. I’ll share some more tomorrow. But I’d encourage you to visit Mem’s online site as well. Here’s a link to her “Ten Read Aloud Commandments: http://www.memfox.net/ten-read-aloud-commandments.html