Early childhood experiences have long lasting consequences for children’s long-term social, emotional and cognitive development. Early childhood experiences cast a lifelong shadow.
Education does not begin at school. It certainly does not begin at kindergarten.It actually begins at birth. Brains develop biologically. Major brain stimulation occurs in the first months and first years of life for each child. Brains that are exercised in those key time frames end up as stronger brains.
Direct adult interactions with children in those key months and years create the needed connections that build brains. Studies have shown that reading aloud gives children bigger vocabularies and better reading comprehension in school. Seventy-one percent of parents with a college degree say they do it every day, compared with 33 percent of those with a high school diploma or less, Pew found.
Reading aloud and focusing your attention on the child by talking to them about the story is an ideal activity for their brain development. In addition, reading favorite books on a regular basis builds vocabularies, creates a sense of emotional security—it is one of the many ways we show children they are loved.
It is no surprise, long after the story line of the books are forgotten, the love that is communicated and experienced inside a “reading relationship,” between a child and their parent, is never forgotten.