When I found out that I was pregnant on February of 2011, I started buying children’s books. It’s crazy you must say but I am a true blue believer of the magic of reading aloud. Even before I started to feel my baby’s movements in my womb, I have been reading to him already. I finished reading to him the Winnie the Pooh book before he was born. And whenever I was certain that he is awake, I read to him stories of the incredible Dr. Seuss and others. It’s amazing how at some point, when I change my tone to a boy for example, my baby would stop moving, and when my tone is a bit exaggerated, he would kick my tummy.
My baby is now 5 months and from the time he was born, there was never a day that I did not read to him. At two months old, he is already reacting to the pictures. He gets excited to see bright colors. He would even say “ooh” or whoog” whenever I change my voice from feminine to masculine tone. I read to him at times while rocking him to sleep. At 3 months, I finished reading to him The Lord of the Rings’s Fellowship of the Ring and Two Towers. Would you believe that I finished reading him those books just by rocking him to sleep? That’s 3 months of investment.
These days, I use picture books. Not only is his language being stimulated when I read aloud to him, his senses also benefits from that. His vision is stimulated by the bright colors. His hearing is stimulated by the storyteller’s intonation. Sometimes, I play classical music while reading to him and it makes him calm but still alert. And when I read to him, I cuddle him to stimulate his sense of touch. Studies says that the more stimulation the baby gets from the time of birth when only 25% of his brain is developed, the faster the development of the 75% will occur.
In the past month, I would read to him the story of The Ragged Bear over and over. I can say that so far it is his favorite. Every time I read that story to him with all the creativity and expressions I know, he gets excited. He gets excited at the parts he likes at the same pages every time. How did that happen? I don’t know. It’s magic! What’s more, now that he is 5 months, I start reading the Bible to him during my quiet time. And my weekly memory verses I recite to him when rocking him to sleep. He loves it. It’s magic!
I would like to share with you some of the benefits of reading aloud which I learned from the book Reading Magic by literacy specialist Mem Fox.
- Reading aloud everyday would help your child learn to read without being taught.
- It helps the child learn to speak more rapidly.
- It sharpens the child’s brain.
- Your child will become more socially and educationally better.
- It makes the child emotionally stable as hearing the voice of his mom or dad makes him realize they are there for him.
- It prevents reading problems.
- The child will have a joyful attitude toward learning to read.
- It helps the child gain a huge amount or stock of general knowledge.
- It introduces letters and words or print to the child.
- It develops the child’s imagination.
Now these benefits are pure golden treasures. If you have not done this to your baby, your toddler, or your preschooler yet, start doing it now. And I suggest that you also get a copy of the book Reading Magic by Mem Fox as your guide. Enjoy!