Children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures.
What difference could I make as a parent?
The short answer is: a lot! Parents are by far the most important educators in a child’s life and it’s never too young for a child to start, even if you’re only reading with your child for a few minutes a day. Before they're born, babies learn to recognise their parents' voices. Reading to your baby from the time they're born gives them the comfort of your voice and increases their exposure to language.
Learning to read is about listening and understanding as well as working out print. Through hearing stories, children are exposed to a rich and wide vocabulary. This helps them build their own vocabulary and improve their understanding when they listen, which is vital as they start to read. It’s important for them to understand how stories work as well. Even if your child doesn’t understand every word, they’ll hear new sounds, words and phrases which they can then try out, copying what they have heard.