My sister Jennifer ————>>
…is back this week to lay the foundation for why it’s important to begin reading to our children at a very young age.
The most important thing I can share about our parenting is the priority that we as a family have placed on reading together. It is the thing that has shaped our children the most.
Reading together has served to develop their minds, their hearts, and their souls. It touches them not only intellectually but also spiritually. Most of the research and studies that show the importance of reading to your child stress the academic benefits of this activity, but I would like to show you that there are also eternal benefits of reading to your child!
Reasons to read to your children:
- To develop skills which will allow them to read and understand the scriptures.
It brings me such joy to walk into Johnathan or Julianna’s bedroom and see that they have chosen to read the Bible on their own! This is how they will come to the knowledge of all of the wonderful truths about our Savior that are written on those pages and hopefully make their faith their own.
Joshua 1:8a – This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. NKJV
2. To develop their ability to express their own ideas both verbally and in writing.
This equips them to clearly communicate the truths of the gospel with others. The ability to organize, sequence and clearly express their thoughts, develops as they are exposed to the rich language of experienced writers. Johnathan has had several school assignments in which he has had to write about his beliefs, and it is such a blessing to see how clearly he can articulate his understanding of what we have read to him and taught him over the years.
I Peter 3:15 – But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear. NIV
3. To develop their listening and auditory processing skills.
They are better able to listen and think about information as well as sustain attention for longer periods of time if they have practiced routinely listening to you read for 20 to 30 minutes.
Sometimes I feel like our preacher’s sermons may be a little above Julianna’s level as a 10 year-old, but I have been impressed with her ability to focus, listen, and take notes during Sunday morning worship services. Here is a picture of the front page of her notes from last Sunday. Look how much they can learn even at a young age if they are trained to listen!!
4. To lead to teachable moments and discussions for training your children in righteousness.
We have a routine of reading together nightly at bedtime. So many times, when I am tucking the children into bed, they will ask a question about what we have read, or they will share something about their day that relates to what we read. These still, quiet moments are wonderful times to reach their hearts with the truth, and though I love a schedule and getting them to bed on time, I am willing to ignore these things to work with their hearts while they are soft and moldable!
5. To create lifelong memories.
My mom has allowed me to borrow the volumes of Bible storybooks that she read to us when we were children (which I will share with you in a later post), and as I turn through the pages with the familiar pictures and stories, I remember the snuggles with mom, the giggles of three little girls with curlers in their hair, the talks about our Lord, and the bedtime prayers said while kneeling beside the bed. These are the types of precious memories that I hope I am creating for my children when we spend time reading together.
In parenting, we always have to keep eternal purposes in mind.
What is our true goal of parenting? Why do we do what we do? What is our motivation? With these thoughts in mind, I encourage you to read even more to your children!
You may have tangible wealth untold,
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I, you can never be-
I had a mother who read to me.
From Teddy to Ready (2002) by Susan Martelli
Thank you sis!
Alright mamas – I encourage you to grab a good picture book or chapter book and pull your chicklets in close to you and enjoy a moment of bonding together!
Some readers have asked for book recommendations, well hold tight, cause Jen will be giving them in coming weeks 🙂 But we’d love to hear what you are reading right now to your children – feel free to share it in the comment section! Currently we are in the middle of the book titled Mrs. Piggle Wiggle – it’s our second time through – the kids begged to hear it again 🙂 .