Reading with young children is of “paramount importance to their educational development” says Psychologist Maria Osborne

By Lauren Walsh

Irish Educational Psychologist Maria Osborne shares the explains the importance of reading with young children for their future development.

Reading with your children can have much longer lasting effects on their educational progress than we might realize.

According to Registered Educational Psychologist Maria Osborne, the decision to read with your child could play a huge role in many aspects of their development.

“Reading with your young child is of paramount importance to their educational development. Reading promotes a child’s phonological awareness, increases vocabulary, comprehension and improves a child’s ability to access the curriculum across all subject areas” says Maria Osborne

Speaking, reading and writing are among the most important skills children learn. Reading, either independently or through shared reading, helps children to develop their imagination, enhance creativity, strengthen oral language development and communicate more effectively, according to Libraries Ireland.

“When children come across the same words in many different places and contexts, they develop a stronger understanding of their meaning and use” Libraries Ireland say.

“If a child hears new words through conversation and also when read to them in a story, they have a firmer basis for making associations between words, allowing them to more easily learn and recall the word.”

With all the hustle and bustle of daily life, reading can often fall by the wayside. But knowing its importance in your childs development, it is important to establish a routinue, to ensure that they are reading as much as possible.

Libraries Ireland suggest establishing a routine and try to devote some time every day to reading. This can be made enjoyable for your child by carrying out the following steps:

  1. Reading with fun, humour and expression in your voice.
  2. Drawing your child’s attention to pictures in the book and discussing them together.
  3. Asking questions as you read and encouraging your child to give their reactions to the story.
  4. Making reading time special by choosing a comfortable space away from any distractions

“Reading with your young children is the most important recommendation for supporting their academic development. It might be nice to set up a cosy corner and establish a daily reading routine to foster a love of reading from an early age.” Maria Osbourne advises.

“It’s never too early to start reading to your child. Just five minutes each day can be enough,” Libraries Ireland say.

“Continue to read with your child even when they can read on their own. Your interest in sharing stories will encourage them to further develop an interest in reading themselves.”

Read the full article on RSVP here.