“Reading at a young age makes you smarter.” How true is this? Many years ago, a group of scientists have testing reading and intelligence levels of 1,890 pairs of twins. It was conducted when the children were at the age of 7, 9, 10, 12 and 16. They found that children with better reading skills from age seven had better verbal reasoning in adolescence. And youngsters who could read well did way better in non-verbal tests.
With that, we can confidently say that it is SCIENTICALLY PROVEN that youngsters who have good reading ability at primary school perform better in abstract thinking, general cognition and pattern finding. Allowing your child to cultivate the love for reading at a young age comes with multiple benefits and can make a positive impact to your child’s academic future. That is because reading is the main aspect of all formal education.
Experts says students in Singapore are better readers than before because factors such as being surrounded with more reading resources and greater access to the Internet. In Singapore, many believe in reading and talking to their babies long before they utter their first words. Research has shown that this method helps to boost the development in language and cognition.
An Assistant Professor, Dr. Loh, an expert in reading from National Institute of Education said “We need to create an environment for reading. We are good in instruction and curriculum, but there are other areas for improvement – in the design of spaces to encourage reading, to recommending books to students.”
As you can see, reading will help to boost performance in a student’s academic journey, and cultivating it when they are still young will have many advantages.
Let us break the advantages into 4 different aspects:
During the first 6 years of their life, children learn at a very fast pace, probably faster than at any other point of their lives. The brain will establish vital connections very early in life. By reading, it will help to develop a young child’s brain. At birth, a healthy baby will be born with approximately 200 billion active neurons or brain cells. When parents talk, sing or even read to their babies or toddlers, existing links among neurons are strengthened and new links are formed. When a child is being taught to read, the process of learning has a deep influence on the overall functioning and development of the brain. Parents can play a critical early role by not only enhancing the reading skills and ability, but most importantly instilling a lifelong love for learning and reading
A child who has learnt to read joyfully with a supportive parent or guardian at an early age, will cultivate a love for learning and do better in school. Studies has shown that strong oral language skills are the key to literacy development. When a child read at an early age, they will have greater access to general knowledge and improve their vocabulary and become more fluent in reading and speaking. This also improves their attention spans and better concentration. They are also able to easily comprehend of what they are reading and able to study effectively by extracting relevant and necessary information from textbooks and other sources of information. This ability will boost their academic performance in the future.
A child who has cultivate a love for reading, with support and guidance, will boost their self-confidence in speaking. It promotes discipline and lays the fundamentals for moral literacy. Reading also sparks curiosity about things, people and places. At an early age, there are many things that a child will be curious about, and reading will provide them explanations of how things work, and expose them to a range of problem-solving techniques. This will also ignite their imagination and creativity.
When our children start their journey in primary school, it is not easy to encourage them to study at all. Not many kids like it when they are being forced to sit down for hours to study or even read. However, if a child starts learning to read at the tender age of 2, there is no psychological pressure at all. If they start young, parents will not feel the pressure at all and can teach their child to read a little each day, in a leisurely way. This will foster the love of reading in the child from the start, and it will easier to encourage them when they promote to higher level of education.
As reading will indirectly boost the self-confidence of the child, the child will not have any problem raising their hands to ask any questions in class. Many shy students do badly in school, because they feel inferior and they think asking questions might cause embarrassment to themselves. This will cause a ripple effect in their grades and psychological well-being
A child at a very young age, already has social awareness. When a child put himself into the story, it will help them to develop empathy in different situations. They identify with the characters in the story and they feel what they are feeling. Children begin to understand and can relate to the different emotions felt by the characters in the story. When the child understands empathy, he or she will understand the reason behind people’s action and helps in communicating their ideas that makes sense to others. Reading will help them to understand others better during communication and empathy is one of the foundation building blocks of great social interaction.
As mentioned that reading helps in developing a child’s self-confidence, it will also enhance their ability to speak out their thoughts. A confident child will not be afraid to approach other kids to make friends, and will always have the opportunity to widen his or her communication skills.