The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study found that of the children who were read to at least three times a week as they entered kindergarten had a significantly greater phonemic awareness than did children who were read to less often, and were almost twice as likely to score in the top 25 percent in reading.
Everytime when you read to a child, you're sending a " pleasure" message to the child's brain, conditioning it to associate books and print with pleasure. There are, however, " unpleasures" the child comes to associate with reading and school. Learning can be tedious and boring, threatening, and without meaning - endless hours of worksheers, hours of intensive phonics instruction, and hours of unconnected - test questions. If a child seldom experiences the " pleasures" of reading and increasing meets its " unpleasures" the natural reaction will be withdrawal.
What are the skills a child needs for kindergarten?There is one skill that matters above all others, because it is the prime predictor of school success or failure: the child’s vocabulary upon entering school. Yes, the child goes to school to learn new words, but the words he or she already knows determine how much of what the teacher says will be understood. And since most instruction for the first four years of school is oral, the child who has the largest vocabulary will understand the most, while the child with the smallest vocabulary grasps the least.
Once they begin reading, personal vocabulary feeds (or frustrates) comprehension. And, since school grows increasingly complicated with each grade, that's why school-entry vocabulary tests predict so accurately.
We make it a habit to read to the three girls before bedtime. Hope through this, we can send more " pleasure" message for them...