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Reading Books to Broaden Your Child's Horizons

Books are a great way to introduce your child to the world. As they read about characters, fictional or real, they begin to understand their own problems better. It has been said that reading books is an affordable way to travel the world. Books are intellectually stimulating and they impart lots of facts. Books are also a source of great entertainment, if they are read and not left to gather dust on the shelf. Books are the way that one generation shares its experiences and wisdom with the next generation. Books are a great gift of ideas and answers to many of life's conundrums. You do not need an appointment to "meet" some famous or great person if you can read their thoughts that they shared in a book. Books are also a great way to get to know ourselves. As we read about someone else, we naturally put ourselves in their place in our imagination. Would we have felt the same way or acted the same way? You can certainly take a book at face value and never give it another thought after you have read it. However, a book can be more fun for your child if you talk about it. Would you have been as brave as Lucy in Narnia? Would you have been as cheerful as Cinderella to do all the chores day after day? These kinds of reflections can help us to get to know ourselves better. Books may even inspire us to try to be better than our daily selves. Admiring the strength of book heroes can make us stronger when facing our own trials.It is no wonder than educators have long emphasized the importance of reading books, beginning with the very young child. Children, and babies too, need to be read to long before they can read to themselves. By listening to books being read to them, children gain knowledge and experiences that they may never see for themselves. What is it like on a farm? How did people work, play and live a hundred years ago?In addition to stories, books can teach us a lot about our physical world. Children love to learn about bugs, birds, animals and other real things. Reading books to children can also stimulate a love for language. Reading poetry or rhymes is an effective way to get children to think about the sounds of words and to help them remember things. Find a regular time each day to read to your child. If he or she brings you a book any time during the day, try to put down what you are doing, and take the time right then to read the book. By this action you will be telling your child that reading is important.

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