In this day and age where young children are getting their entertainment and learning via devices, physical books still reign supreme over reading programmes for kids. A study done by the American Academy of Pediatrics described how physical books not only engage children better but also allow parents to “get through more of the story”....
In this day and age where young children are getting their entertainment and learning via devices, physical books still reign supreme over reading programmes for kids. A study done by the American Academy of Pediatrics described how physical books not only engage children better but also allow parents to “get through more of the story”. In fact, reading the same book – however annoying – could be even more beneficial for kids.
Children process information differently from adults, and repetitive reading is one way they can get the most out of their books.
Here’s how children benefit from reading the same books a couple of dozen times.
Recognising word patterns and vocabulary
It is no surprise that reading increases one’s vocabulary, and for children, reading a book multiple times enables them to become more familiar with words. Moreover, language is as much about how words sound and connect to each other as the words themselves.
Reading stories aloud also aids kids in awareness about the pattern and rhythm of text. After multiple readings, chances are, kids have memorised the book, and will use the vocabulary and structure they have learnt in conversation.
A deeper level of comprehension
Re-reading not only provides children with a sense of comfort through familiarity, but they also understand the narrative more each time.
Each reading produces another layer of comprehension. It is only through multiple readings that will kids understand the various nuances of the narrative – from plot to symbolism and more.
Understanding all facets of the story also provides the foundation for understanding more complex plots in the future. Repetitive reading allows children to read fluently and with confidence, thus nurturing their love for reading.
Providing a solid phonics foundation
Reading aloud (and often!) would also help kids be more attuned to the various sounds and help them enunciate better. It would also aid them in learning new words as they understand how to pronounce new words based on existing knowledge. Having a bigger vocabulary will also imbue them with more ways of expression, thus increasing their confidence.
Setting up the foundation for future learning success
A love of reading at a young age provides a good basis for future learning, and parents can further nurture this by providing kids with adequate resources to explore various forms of literature. Give your children a variety of books to choose from – different genres, lengths and reading levels.
Kids could also attend phonics classes or reading programmes, such as the MindChamps Reading programme for more structure. These programmes not only encourage kids to read more but also inculcate a love for reading from the early years. What’s more, kids will also pick up skills that are essential for the MOE curriculum so that they no longer have to reread texts multiple times and will get more from the lessons in school.
Beyond reading programmes for kids, read along with them!
George R. R. Martin once said: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . the man who never reads lives only one.”
Most adults do not read as much as they should, which is why parents should take the opportunity to read alongside their kids – yes, even if it means having to read the same book over and over again.
Written by Steffi Wee