Letting your kid learn to read and write at an early age has its benefits. For starters, it will help kick-start his/her academic future through formal education as well as the child's ability to learn and capture things fast. Teaching your child to master the art of reading along with the various strategies for the same would help the child to pick necessary information and knowledge fast and easy. It will enable the kid to shine throughout the academic endeavors and life.

With the support of a loving parent or caregiver, any child who starts learning to read at a tender age grows with unrivaled independence, self-confidence, and attributes that come quite in handy later in life. Learning to read improves the child’s discipline, maturity, and moral literacy. It also sparks curiosity as to what else to learn: places, people, and all things in general. Reading allows the kid to satisfy his/her interest and thirst to know how different things work.

1Feeds A Hungry Brain

According to research, the brain of a baby triples in size in the first year of birth. The baby's mind can, therefore, record up to 10 million different words of raw data each year within the first three years. Reading words aloud and talking to the child not only enable him or her to perceive what you are reading but also opens up the child's neural pathways.

You can start teaching your child how to read at a tender age of 4 months (in the height of his/her brain's synaptic formation and plasticity). It can be done by labeling objects, using multisensory flash-word techniques, and reading aloud in the room. It can help flex the kid’s mental muscles, enabling/boosting his/her cognitive development and brain growth.

2Helps Your Child Pick Up Phonics

While kids may not be able to articulate the rules of phonics, they can perceive the same. It is one of the reasons why 2- and 3-year-olds can quickly read new words. It is also worth noting that toddlers cannot intuit phonics through the formal instructions used in schools.

Instead, toddlers use their learning (right brain) capabilities at this age to pick up word patterns and pronunciation. It means that the kid will learn to read in the same way he/she learns to speak multiple languages at this age. Their ability to learn new words and phonics, however, fade away as they approach the age of six.

3Readies Your Child For Kindergarten

About 47% of the children entering kindergarten in America are not school-ready. The literacy exposure, however, enables the children to learn more than 32 million words by the time they are four years old. It gives them an edge over those not exposed to the same. Preschoolers can, therefore, be introduced and taught how to read informally through literacy activities. The learning activities should, however, be time restricted to avoid ‘tiring’ the child.

There is no straightforward method of determining a child’s school-readiness. Development (especially brain development) varies from one child to another. Some children will have a more natural grasp of things in various areas, while others will be good at something else. That said, introducing your child to literacy through reading before going to school would be a wise thing to do.

4Makes Learning To Read Easier

Although you may know this already, toddlers and some babies can pick up reading relatively easy. It makes learning formal instructions (when at age six) more manageable for them as well. When introduced to reading, a toddler will learn things a 7-year-old might find hard to grasp. One of the explanations for this is that the toddler’s brain is still growing and ready to record raw data. It is also worth noting that a toddler can pick up and be fluent in complicated languages, such as English and Mandarin, all at the same time, without breaking a sweat.

Early literacy unlocks the child’s ability to read and write even before getting formal training on how to do it. It is why kids love books being read to them and will always be curious to learn to read themselves. Motivating the kid to learn how to read is, therefore, recommended.

5Makes Your Child Smarter

Reading aloud to children and allowing them to choose exciting books to read (at age 3 to 5) enable their intelligence to develop and grow. Letting your child read and reading to him/her allows the kid to use complicated sentences correctly without mixing words up. It also enables the kid to build general knowledge, manage the memory of distant events, develop powers of reflection, and be able to access new information.

Reading also helps toddlers develop their language and vocabulary. It correlates well with measures of intelligence. A 5-year-old that knows how to read acquires knowledge through reading, while a similarly aged non-reader can only admire pictures in books.

6Creates A Beautiful Legacy

Teaching your children how to read is relatively easy. All you need to do is to use friendly and fun verbal interaction, read aloud, have personal contact, and set up a 5-minute wordplay. Doing this every day in the first 3 to 5 years will make them have a particular interest in reading, hence raise a reader.

It is never too late to nurture your child’s reading skills. While it may seem fun (or hard work), your kids will remember you for this gift. It is also worth noting that they may copy your love and dedication and pass it on to their children and generations to come. You could also continue teaching children how to read even as a grandparent.

Preschool readers are more competent and confident than their non-reader counterparts; hence, they will be able to relate well with their peers. They are also capable of accomplishing things that only their superiors would and at a tender age. As long as they can read, their social status, self-confidence, and self-image will be unmatched, hence an even better social status. They will also be able to learn new things on their own from reading independently.

As long as they can read, your kids will get exposed to more ideas, books, and knowledge. It is noticeable through correct grammar, richer vocabulary, clear oral communication, better spelling, and improved writing. Aside from reading, the kids will have a more extensive vocabulary and will be able to make observations from knowledge and experience quickly. Studies also show that children who learn to read at a young age prosper in education and succeed in life as well.

Nicole Ross

Nicole S. Ross is passionate about using stories in early childhood education. She wrote our Alphabet Book Series to help children fall in love with reading while learning the alphabet.