Experts Advice: A Family Who Reads Together Nurtures More Than Just Literacy
Reading goes beyond cultivating a healthy habit during the early years.
As a self-confessed bookworm during my younger days, I remember hoarding my mini library and filling them up with new reads ever so often. If there were book fairs in school, I would definitely be flashing the book list to my mum, pointing out to her the ones I wanted to have.
Now that I’m a mother, the wish for my child to share the love for reading brims, but I do realise that time and effort can wreck havoc against our desires.
As a book lover, I am aware that reading goes beyond literacy, language or even academics. There’s just something about reading that takes one’s imagination, state of mind and emotions to a whole new level, and fellow book lovers would definitely agree!
Why Parents Should Read to Their Children
According to the American Academic of Pediatricians, research highlight that children who were read to during infancy and preschool years have better language skills and were more interested in reading. And parents who spend time reading to their children helped create nurturing relationships, which is important for a child’s cognitive, language and social-emotional development.
Experts also wish to highlight the roles of parents when it comes to reading.
“Books are a useful tool,” Dr. Pamela C. High, M.D., M.S., FAAP, lead author of Literacy Promotion: An Essential Component of Primary Care Pediatric Practice said, “but we also want parents to understand that reading to their children is so powerful because children think their parents are the most important people in their world.”
Children in Singapore Should Enjoy the Benefits of Reading
In less developed countries where parents have concerns with making ends meet or face literacy issues, there are respective authorities who pioneer various literacy programs in hope of educating families with young children on the importance of reading.
In Singapore, parents are dealing with #firstworldproblems and at times, we tend to be clouded by our pursuit of financial needs, leaving us with little quality time for our children. We are also guilty of spending time on our digital devices, and in turn, read less.
Children are imitators, and this can be pivotal in their reading attitudes and development – the need for parents to lead by example makes a difference. And this can be done by picking up a physical reading material, be it, books, magazines or newspapers, and spend quality time learning from what one is reading. It need not be long stretches of hours (although sometimes we drift away in the wonders of books), but a 15-min each day can get us “lost” in reading too.
Reading adds value to one’s life, and transports you to a different dimension. Harry Potter fans – do you remember pouring through each page of J.K. Rowling’s masterpieces, eager to read them till the end? The same can’t be said for the movies, because it registers different networks of one’s brains.
Reading Opens Up the Minds, Hearts and Conversations in the Family
Remember reading a piece of news earlier this week that got everyone talking?
Reading opens up communication between people, and guides our minds to digest, assess and analyse information. For older kids, this presents an opportunity to discuss about the topics and to find out what your child thinks or reflects upon reading these stories. Reading goes multi-dimensional, and need not cost an arm or a leg.
Choosing Appropriate Books Can Help Pique Interest in Reading
Experts agree that books are useful tools, and they are only as good if they are appropriate for you and your children.
It is also recommended to offer a variety of reading materials so your children are exposed to different textures (e.g. board books, paperbacks, magazines, newspapers) as well as different content (think: colours, fonts, layout, pictures, information, writing style etc.).
So besides the usual story books or hardcovers, young children would delight in magazines too. But where can we get age-appropriate ones for young children?
Did you know that the award-winning National Geographic Magazine has special collections for children between 3-6 years old and 6-12years old?
National Geographic Little Kids was conceptualised with our little ones in mind, specially for kids between 3 – 6 years old.
These books are designed to offer interactivity and enjoyment with its contents geared towards the interest of toddlers and young children – Animals!
With animals as its key focus, the National Geographic Little Kids Magazine team puts together bite-sized information about different animals or insects in each issue. Children get to step into the fascinating world of these creatures presented in fun manners, and these little explorers are exposed to pictures, words, concepts and relationships all in one handy magazine.
Each magazine bursts with a unique theme, and its contents spiral from the animal or insects for the edition. Games, quizzes, plenty of pictures and real photographs of animals adorn these colourful pages to keep it exciting for the young ones. Free animal cards with fun facts are included in every issue – and your child will enjoy collecting them all to build his very own animal fun fact library!
For the younger ones who have yet to master reading, parents can read to the child and play games which encourage parent-child interaction and bonding opportunities such as Sorting, Finding, Matching and Observation sections that are prevalent in each issue.
Their handy A5-size makes it easy to bring out, when you need to keep those inquisitive minds and hands occupied during car rides or meal times too! Whoever says only digital devices can do the trick?
For kids who are able to read, they will enjoy the journey of learning about different animals with kid-friendly bits and pictures of actual animals in their natural habitats which aims to take the kids through a wildlife visual tour! The discovery of new words and pronunciation help contribute to their linguistic abilities too.
Primary school go-ers will enjoy the National Geographic Kids (specially for 6-12 years old) titles which are loaded with fun facts, outrageous facts and even a Fun Stuff section which includes games, jokes, comics and quizzes to name a few! I certainly wish I had discovered these back in those days – these magazines would have been poured over and hoarded like treasures!
Talk about keeping your curious child entertained with truths and myths about other living things!
Back in Secondary school, we used to read National Geographic Magazine at the library during certain English periods too – who else had the same with your teachers?
Nurture Your Child’s Love for the Natural World
Experts are acknowledging animals in early childhood settings, believing that animals help to serve as an educator which contributes to a child’s development.
Research suggests that “positive thoughts about living things encourage love of the environment and this has been explored in terms of children’s development (Kahn, 1997) and more recently in work about children and their interactions in the natural world (Louv, 2008).”
Beyond the furries, children discover a spectrum of knowledge about them and understand the relationship of our eco-system: wildlife animals, habits of animals, their natural environment, empathy and interaction, ethical treatment of animals, amongst others.
Children and adults alike can take a back-to-nature tour and enjoy the wanderlust that these magazines will take your minds on. We’ve got exclusive discounts lined up – and nothing beats the gift of knowledge to the special people in your lives. Read on to find out more!
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Mag-EZ Classic is a proud brand of World Edu-League Pte Ltd, an exclusive Distribution and Marketing Agent of the National Geographic Magazines since 2006. Mag-EZ Classic was set up to provide our customers the avenue to subscribe NatGeo magazines at competitive prices, enjoy shorter waiting time, and access to the full range of NatGeo’s publications. Titles are carefully selected to ensure they are suitable for our audience, the well-informed, nature lover, adventure lover, parents, children, educators, or anybody that values the gift of knowledge!
Have you been missing out on the wonderful journey of reading? Enjoy the amazing wonders of the literary world with National Geographic Magazines, and share it forward with your children, friends and family too!
Linking up with Mama, Adeline Tan, who writes at growingwiththetans.com!