4 Reasons you should Raise a Reader

A few years ago I worked at a literacy-based organization. I worked with adult-leaners who struggled with reading, or had various disabilities that made it difficult. I often felt very anxious about literacy in my home, and the importance of starting my children young. The truth is, as I had been homeschooling since forever, it was actually quite simple to continue to push books into the hands of my children, or sit down for story-time.The problem was, and still is, that with the advance in technology sometimes it seems that the good ole' days of library visits and the love of books is becoming extinct. 
Seems a bit dramatic...maybe so, but I think there is a thin line. At Small Wonders early childhood literacy is very important to me, and thankfully, I have a group of kids who cannot get enough of books and story-telling.

Here are 4 reasons why I support early childhood literacy AND I am raising readers.
It Builds Vocabulary
I am often AMAZED at the words that come out of the childrens' mouths. I know that many of those words are from books. Reading a lot of books- diverse ones too- will help children expand their vocabulary.

It provides Bonding
Anytime you read a book to a child (not just your child), it allows for a bonding experience. Helping to develop the emotional and mental well-being of  any child is no small feat. Consider that stories can come to life for children in many ways (learning about new people & foods; waiting for a new sibling to be born; or sharing pictures and stories of animals in different parts of the world).

Imagination & Wonder
Who needs TV when you have books? Really, who? Reading books is entertaining, educational, and promotes active, rather than passive learning. And reading will surely help improve a child's attention span.

Cultural Awareness
According to research conducted by author Jim Trelease, regular reading of books “creates empathy toward others, because literature values humanity and celebrates human spirit and potential, offering insight into different lifestyles while recognizing universality”.
 Uhm, yes, yes, and yes - I could not agree more! One of the reasons the children at Small Wonders enjoy our Book of the Month project is because the books show diversity, and celebrate humans in all shapes, forms, and abilities (sometimes animals too :)

Are you raising a reader? How do you help your family focus on reading?
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