Learning & Education
Is Your Child Reading Enough At Home?
In today’s modern world, you find fewer and fewer teenagers who love to spend their spare time with their head stuck in a good book. With so many distractions around them, it is no coincidence that children who enjoy reading as they grow older are the same children whose parents cultivated a love of reading in them from a young age. Before considering how much a child should be reading, it is important to understand why reading is important for children.
Reading helps a child develop numerous basic literacy skills. At a young age, it helps children identify letters and sounds, and eventually to put them together to make words. This, in turn, leads on to their vocabulary. The more a child reads, the quicker their vocabulary expands. They learn how to use their words and are encouraged to sound them out for themselves. Similarly, they are prompted to learn new words as they encounter words and phrases that they have not come across before. This, in turn, lets the child develop their reading comprehension. Reading comprehension is the ability to understand exactly what is being said. This is a vital skill when it comes to doing well in school and exams, and is something that many adults struggle with.
So with that in mind, how much should your child read every day? Let’s ignore the reading done during school, and focus on out of school reading. These days, parents are encouraged to follow a reading schedule based on school grade. You start with ten minutes reading in 1st grade, and you add ten minutes for every subsequent grade up to 6th grade. Following this example, a 4th grader would be asked to read for forty minutes every day.
To many parents, this sounds impractical. Getting a ten year old boy to read for forty minutes can be a challenge. However, when the approach is introduced gradually, the children will learn to enjoy reading time. The intent is to cultivate a love for reading in our children, not to make it one of a list of chores they must do. For this reason, it is encouraged that you start slowly. Many children don’t enjoy reading on their own at first, so have them read aloud to you. It doesn’t have to interrupt your day - it could be while you’re making the dinner or hanging up the washing. Perhaps you can take it in turns. You read a page, and your child reads a page. Once it becomes part of your routine, you’re on to a winner.
Finally, it should be noted that reading can be tiring. For children, it involves a lot of concentration, and if your child is reading something beyond his or her capabilities, they simply won’t get the benefit out of it. Try to turn off the television or other distractions when it’s reading time, and don’t use the timeframes above as absolutes.
They should be targets. If your child is getting tired or becoming frustrated, that’s fine. Put the book away. The aim of this is to get to a point where your child wants to read, and that will never happen if they feel forced. Try and show them that reading is fun. If all else fails, use their reading time as your own reading time! Sit beside them and read your own book while they read theirs. Children love imitating their parents – and a love of reading is no different.
Learning & Education Games for kids are a great way to build the skills and confidence that get kids off to a good start in school. These games can make kids learning lots more fun! Starting your kids with educational games and brain teasers for preschool, toddlers and school aged children. As a parent you will enjoy finding the perfect learning game to have fun with your child with a bit of education at the same time for free.
Clay and Play-Doh for Child Motor Skill Development
Kids love clay and Play-Doh. You may have even played with these messy and versatile toys when you were a kid. But as a parent you are always looking for ways to boost your child's development. So wouldn't it be great to find out that every time your children are shaping, pulling and manipulating Play-Doh or clay they are benefiting in more ways than just having fun? The good news is, that is exactly what is happening. Check out these wonderful benefits you child receives every time she pops out the Play-Doh.
Fine motor skill development is boosted
Fine motor skills are simply actions which are usually small and precise, generally involving the little muscles in fingers, hands, toes and wrists. As an adult, you use these skills hundreds of times a day. But they were first developed and improved upon when you were playing with clay as a child. The muscles which perform fine motor skills are also strengthened. This makes the transformation to writing, coloring and gripping easier as your child grows.
Your child's independence is supported
At a very young age, children need to believe in themselves. Every time you see your child acting independently, you are so proud. And the self-esteem which comes with independent play cannot be overrated. When your child grabs his can of Play-Doh and sets out to play on his own, he is believing in himself and his independence, which pays dividends for life.
Imaginative play unleashes creativity
Toddlers and older children should be encouraged to express themselves creatively. Everyone is different, and has different ideas. When your child is free to express her thoughts by bringing them to life with Play-Doh or clay, she is doing so much more than just playing. The imaginative scenes, scenarios and objects she creates teach her the process from thought to action to creation. She realizes she can create anything that she can think of.
When laughter is involved, the benefits multiply
All kids love to laugh, and that is a great thing. And when they make silly faces, monsters or animals with their Play-Doh, laughter is an ever present part of the process. Developmentally, "feel good" chemicals are released when she giggles. Your child's blood flow is improved, her immune system gets a healthy boost and physical tension or stress is relaxed for up to 45 minutes after a laughing fit.
Math and communication development can be improved
Playing with clay often means using shapes and symbols to press into the malleable substance. This is a great time to give your child an advantage learning the alphabet, memorizing numbers, how to spell his own name and how to "speak" by combining plastic or wooden letter blocks and Play-Doh.