IS READING TO CHILDREN GOOD FOR THEM?
Yes, and in so many ways! In fact, it is so very important, even long before they can read themselves and also well into their teens.
The Waldorf pedagogy focuses in Kindergarten on building pre-literacy skills prior to teaching writing and reading in the first grade. Reading to children especially helps build those pre-literacy skills of hearing and speaking, rhythm and rhyme, tone of voice, expanding vocabulary, and following a story. Then when children can read, it reinforces their interest and warm feelings associated with reading when they share a book with a parent or other family member. Reading to kids even through adolescence has powerful positive impacts, with the right books sparking new interests, genres, and vocabulary. My husband and I, even at our old ages, read consistently to each other, and it’s one of our favorite parts of the day.
I strongly encourage you to make a daily ritual of reading to and with your children. As children learn to read, it’s important that they associate books with opening doors to new characters, to new places, to new language, to new learning. After children learn to read, they then read to learn. Teachers and parents rejoice when this shift occurs, and they see the fire burning in children when they pick up a book to learn what they want to know. Studies have established that reading helps all of us develop empathy as we immerse ourselves in the worlds of characters very different from ourselves.
The link below provides information about the many benefits of reading to children. Please take a look, and open a book with your children.