There are several variables inter-related in the development of a child. The variables include physical, cognitive, social, spiritual, and emotional developments and are all interwoven. Each dimension of a child's development is affected by another dimension and they can not be compartmentalized into separate categories of development. For instance, if a child's physical state is affected by being malnourished, he or she is unable to learn. Likewise, children who have problems with learning suffer from self-esteem issues and difficulty with socialization.
All variables aforementioned are crucial to the development of a child. However, in this feature, we'll be concentrating on why reading is important to the development of children and how it affects their development and education.
Reading to your child from infancy on has an influencing affect on all the variables of development whether the evidence of it is directly visible or not. According to the AAP (American Association of Pediatrics), reading is a significant aid in brain development and encourages a solidifying, emotional bond between parent and child. The AAP recommends initiating a daily routine of reading for infants as well as older children. However, their records reveal that only 50% of parents read to their children every day.
Language is the most utilized form of communication. Children who are introduced to books at an early age are more prone to grasp the variances in phonics, which in turn affects their language skills and cognitive abilities. Studies indicate that children's familiarity with books is taught by their mothers who tend to typically be the main care giver of a child. The studies also show that children's familiarity with books is influenced by the mother's education level. The higher the level of education, the more apt a child is to be exposed to reading. The cause and effect of reading on language skills and cognitive abilities is cyclical, yet progressive in nature. The more a child uses phonics to test out new words, the more he or she reads. The more he or she reads, then more is learned until the child branches out and repeats the cycle.
Reading provides opportunities for physical development as well. Simply turning the pages of a book aids in fine tuning motor skills. It stimulates the muscles of the eyes and affects chemistry of the body, too, by utilizing the brain. It also has an effect on senses such as sight, sound, touch, and smell.
The earliest ages a child goes through are truly his or hers most formative years. From birth, children are sifting through stimuli and learning how to interact with their surroundings and the people they're in contact with. Parents are critical to laying a foundation on which a child's education is based on. Parents are most often a child's first teachers and from them a child is taught not only fundamentals of education, but how to learn as well.
Socialization of a child is heavily influenced by his or her peer group and that includes attitudes toward learning and education. The America's Children report reflected that children's inclinations toward education also effect their ability to learn. Instilling a love for reading and encouraging your child to maintain it aids in a stronger desire to resist persuasion of peers in the negative and helps them continue to develop.
Reading is instrumental in forming a foundation on which to build a child's educational career on. Whether the child in question is too young to comprehend the words on a page or not, makes no difference. Scientists, pediatricians, and educators alike agree that reading to children strengthens their resolve in learning. They also contend that setting an example by reading in front of children is one of the major ways to contribute to an interest in reading. It is important to remember that information shouldn't be imposed on a child. He or she is an active participant in his or her own development and education. However, taking the time to interact with a child over read stimuli helps to re-enforce his development and education.