At some point in your life or parenting journey you may have heard about the importance of reading to your children. Knowing how important it is, you were probably very dedicated to reading to your child every day. But then at some point, reading to your kids goes to the wayside.
It might be something you mean to do but for whatever reason, it’s not happening. Or as you’ve had more kids and your life became busier, it wasn’t a priority anymore.
Trust me as a single mom with two young kids, I know there have been days where I had too much going on and I forgot about it. And this is coming from someone who loves reading!! I was also a kindergarten teacher and worked with at risk youth so I definitely know the impact that reading to young children has on their literacy skills and reading success.
But once I became a single mom and the stress, exhaustion, and responsibilities piled up, reading to my kids just didn’t always happen.
But there is such an immense value in reading to your kids every day, that when I realized that I had been forgetting more frequently, I decided to make it a priority. Even on our most hectic days I strive to read to my kids every day.
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I’ll get into this more in depth later on, (feel free to check it out if you don’t want to wait!) but there is an amazing reading course called Teaching Kids To Read Age 0-5. This course gives you the tools and techniques you need to give your child a solid literacy foundation that is mindful of the diverse world. It’s for parents, soon to be parents, and caregivers of babies and children ages 0-5. It’s designed for parents and caregivers who want to give their kids a head start in their education! I’ll go into details later!
But first I want to talk about:
Why is it so important to read to your children?
-Reading helps young kids learn to focus and pay attention as they listen to a story.
-Hearing a story helps your child understand how language should sound because of the fluency in which you speak and the tone or inflection you use when reading to them.
-When you point to each word as you read, they learn that the words on the page have meaning. They also begin to understand that words are read from left to right (in English).
-Reading exposes children to new vocabulary. Even if you talk to your child throughout the day, you’re typically using similar vocabulary. But children’s books will expose your child to words they don’t hear on an everyday basis.
Related: Diverse Books For Girls
-Reading books to your kids also exposes them to different topics they may not normally come across in their day to day life. For example, children don’t know anything about other cultures, (other than the one/ones they are raised in) unless they are exposed to them. A great way to introduce them to other cultures is through books. Reading diverse books can set your child up for success in the long run because they will be more knowledgeable, accepting, and tolerant of those who are different than them.
Related: Diverse Books For Boys
This also holds true with books that are about different families, like two mommies or two daddies. Your child may not know those types of families exist if that is not their everyday reality. But reading books about those different topics will help them understand not everyone is the same or not everyone’s families are the same, but we should treat people equally and appreciate what makes people unique.
It’s also a great way to show children who have differences, that there are characters who look like them and have families like them. For example, my kids are biracial and we read many books that feature biracial children or children of color so they can see their reality reflected back to them in books.
-Reading encourages your child’s imagination and curiosity. For example, your child might read a book that mentions trucks and then they want to know more about them. You can go to the library and get books on different kinds of trucks. Or maybe they want to know more about dinosaurs because they are reading about it in school. Then you can get them books on dinosaurs to help satiate their desire to learn about that subject.
Books are also an amazing learning tool!
-Reading to young children helps them understand what emotions look like, what they feel like, and how they can relate to others through emotions. They can begin to understand what empathy is by hearing and seeing how a character is sad or mad when something happens and connect that to a time they felt that way in their life.
-When you’re reading to your child you can help them build their problem solving and social skills by actively engaging them in conversation about what’s happening in the book. For example having a conversation about a girl that’s sad her friend didn’t want to play with her or a boy who was mad because he didn’t want to share.
-Reading to your child about big events that are happening in their lives can help them process what’s happening and understand how to cope. For example, the first day of school, divorce, becoming an older sibling, potty training, moving, etc.
-Reading encourages imagination as well. When I’m reading to my daughter, she loves to guess what will happen just from looking at the pictures. Or she likes to “read” the story to me and tells me her own version of the story based on the pictures.
What are some ways to practice literacy skills outside of reading books?
You can point out logos and symbols that they see in everyday life and explain that they mean something, (like the McDonalds sign, an exit sign, a stop sign, the colors of the traffic lights, etc.). Your child will begin to connect that the symbols and letters have meaning, which is an early literacy skill.
You can also show your child symbols on packaging or posters and ask them what they think it means. My daughter will often look at the symbols on some packaging and tell me what they mean. For example, we have an all purpose ointment and based on the pictures on the back of it she can tell me what it’s for, (diapers, lips, feet, “pacifiers” aka drool rash).
Now that you know how important reading is how can you remember to do it every day?
I completely understand how crazy life can get and that something as small as reading can get forgotten about. But setting up a routine can help you remember to read to your child everyday so that this vital skill isn’t forgotten about. You could do this when they are sitting on the potty, during bathtime, at meals, during play time, or bedtime. But having a specific set time will help you remember to do it. You can also set some books out in that specific place where you will be reading to your kids to help you remember.
Nighttime can be chaotic in my house so bedtime stories don’t always happen. So to combat that, I have my kids pick out a few stories and I will read them at each meal. I have the books sitting on the kitchen table so I remember to do it, and I can easily read them several books a day doing this! I swap the books out at least every other day unless my kids find new books that day they want to read.
How To Raise Readers From Birth
As promised, I want to really dig into the course Teaching Kids To Read Age 0-5! This course was designed by my friend Bethany Edwards. She has a serious passion for high quality diverse books, reading, and raising global citizens! She has been a professional educator for 12 years and is a literary specialist!
You may be wondering what am I going to get from this course?
- A how-to guide on encouraging your baby, toddler, or preschooler to have exceptional reading, writing, speech, listening, and motor skills before they turn 5
- Instructions and techniques on how to create a literacy-rich and diverse environment to instill a love and passion for reading, but also for reading the world.
- A walk through of health/emotional benefits of reading, writing, and the art of conversation with a child through music, language, art, play, and math.
- A practical guide for how to use whole brain learning as a reading technique
- Strategies and resources for teaching children multiple languages even if you aren’t multilingual
- Over 500 read-aloud books for different ages and topics
Who is this course for?
- Parents, soon to be parents, and caregivers of babies and children ages 0-5.
- The course is in English, but the strategies and tools work in any language you are teaching your child or children.
Why is this course so important and why do you need it?
A child’s brain is almost fully developed by the time they turn 5 years old. How can you make the most of that time? Of course you can read to your children. But this course is so much more than reading to your kids, (like A LOT more!). It gives you specific tools and techniques which will ensure you’ve taken advantage of your child’s first 5 years.
I’ve taken the course myself and there is truly SO MUCH amazing information in it! I mean it’s hard for me to even break down the best parts because there are so many takeaways and strategies to help your child not just become a lifelong reader, but a lifelong activist as well.
Bethany uses a whole brain learning approach to literacy to help you understand the process behind learning to read to make it much less challenging when you’re teaching your child to read.
The strategies you learn are easy to understand and implement every day, (you don’t need a teaching degree to understand or apply what you’ve learned!)
One of my favorite lessons from the course was on diversity in books and how that helps children become activists for equality in education, as well as how transformational it can be for children to read books about people who aren’t like them.
Another favorite was the lesson on learning multiple languages. Teaching my children to become bilingual is a goal of mine so I loved that she included strategies for how to teach them a language you’re not fluent in, and where to find different resources to help you teach your child another language.
This course gives kids the social/emotional and academic boost they need to excel the rest of their life!
Here’s what’s inside the course!
Lesson 1- The Importance of Reading Aloud
Lesson 2- Learning Multiple Languages
Lesson 3- Whole Brain Learning
Lesson 4- Managing a Reading Session
Lesson 5- Pre- Reading Skills
Lesson 6- Beginning Writing
Lesson 7- Beginning Listening
Lesson 8- Beginning Speaking
Lesson 9- Reading the World
Lesson 10- Creating a Reader Friendly Home and Review
What does the course cost?
The course has 3 plans:
Basic Plan- This plan includes all of the lessons above. It is self-paced and you have lifetime access to the course. There are video tutorials, printable checklists and guides, supplemental reading, and email support.
There are 3 payment options for this plan because Bethany wanted to make sure that everyone who wants the course, can access it!
You can pay in full for $347
You can pay $85 for 4 months
You can pay $65 for 6 months
The Community Plan- You get everything in the basic plan plus access to her private Facebook community in which she shares bonus resources over 10 weeks that will supplement the course. You will also be invited to 2 group coaching calls to answer any questions you may have about your child’s specific needs. There are only 25 spots available!
This plan is $399.
The VIP Plan– You get everything in the basic and community plan plus a 60 minute private coaching call, and a curated book guide for 1 child age 0-5 (50 books total).
This plan is $499.
There is a money back guarantee as well! If you’re unsatisfied with your purchase, contact Bethany within the first 30 days and she will give you a full refund!
Now for one of the reasons I really love Bethany…Bethany created this course because she has a passion for teaching children early literacy skills along with helping them become globally minded. She wants to give them a strong foundation for school and life. Bethany wants every child to be successful in school but she also knows single parent households are at a disadvantage because they lack the same time and resources that households with multiple parents have.
So for every course that’s purchased, she’s donating free access to the course to a single parent, (or spouse of someone who is deployed in the military)!! That’s hugely generous of her and very close to my heart because I understand first hand the challenges a single parent household faces.
Why is it so important to read to young children? The short answer is it sets them up for a lifetime of success. They will have a head start in their language development and literacy skills. They can learn social skills and how to solve problems when you actively engage them while you’re reading to them.
Children’s brains are like sponges soaking everything up but at the age of 5, their brains are nearly developed. The course Teaching Kids To Read 0-5 is meant to give you the tools and strategies you can use to make the absolute most of the crucial first 5 years of your child’s life.