Top 10 Reasons to Read Along - A child's journey


I Hate Reading - Reading is Boring - I want to do other Things - I Can't Read!!

STOP! No don't stop - read on...

This isn't going to be an insightful disassembling of a child's mind and the key to joy, happiness, riches and inner peace. No, this is the beginnings of a process of shaping and developing a love for something more important. Ourselves - and more, helping us understand a world that even the wisest struggle to come to terms with on a day to day basis.

So why read along...

Well, since the start of time, storytellers have helped shape this world. They are the knowledge passed through generations, the advancements in society, the romance, the love, the health, the life breath and the death and our associations and understandings are generated from everything we see, hear and feel, told through the eyes of the storytellers around us: parents, teachers, news readers, social media enthusiasts and everyone who plays their role in society and in that, everyone has their own story to tell in this wonderful world.

A child's journey begins with no knowledge of the outside world, no concepts, no attitudes or viewpoints on race, wealth, education, deprivation, global warming, but as a child the world can be either an amazing world of wonder or something more sinister.

In a world where every child should have the opportunity to shape their own future, we deserve to give them the tools to build the schema of life. That is our responsibility as parents, teachers or members of society looking to build a better place for those around us now and the generations to come, and one of the most fundamental things we can offer a child, in helping to shape their own future, is the opportunity, ability and help to read.

But more, what if we make reading super fun, super exciting, super adventurous. Do it as a collective so children can feel part of something more, grow, develop, feel empathy as a heartbeat in one like the reaction of a crowd or when something happens in the cinema. Let's build world's through our own imagination and all this, together in a community that a child deserves. Imagine the potential of each child who is now engaged and feels part of something more than themselves. How would your mindset have changed as a child?

So here are my top 10 reasons to read along...

1. Improves communication

Communication is fundamental in helping get our voice heard and the larger our vocabulary, the greater our potential to find ways and means of getting our point across or choosing what words work when. Children crave to be heard, but sometimes lack the understanding and ability to get their important message across and every message is important in the eyes of a child.

2. Improves concentration

Concentration and focus come hand in hand. If we are able to develop these skills, it means our attention to not just focus on the task at hand, but more minor subtle details, can help generate a greater understanding of where things fit in and thus developing a larger base of knowledge to draw upon for years to come.

3. Builds a love of lifelong reading

It begins as a child. Reading starts at home. Common ideas on how people become book lovers for life (and more successful as a consequence), but it's the connection that children associate with, the feelings, and that can be developed across society, starting in the classroom. Look at the faces of the children as they read together when something funny happens.

4. Helps build empathy

To feel as others feel is a skill set for a greater caring world. To see the world through another's eyes in pain, anger, hate, love, joy, happiness is the most human of traits. Stories are told through different perspectives to allow children to read and feel as the characters feel. In my opinion, empathy is the greatest skill we can instil for a child who is trying to understand the world and peoples motives within.

5. Helps build relationships

Relationships are how we grow and interact with each other. Breaking down barriers, understanding how or why someone feels that way, working out common interests and feelings is set right at the heart of 'Read Along' books. This is grown through a combination of skills set above e.g. communication, empathy, concentration, but it's the understanding of what people like, what is acceptable and how to develop that connection that plays out as children find common loves to help build relationships.

6. Helps children connect with peers

As 'Read Along' in itself connects children with those around them, so does the ways we understand and interpret behaviour. A greater connection with those around us means, a greater understanding and more ways to get closer.

7. Helps children experience new worlds and associate their world

Picture Books are stories told in their very own magical worlds. The world is being created by the author and illustrator, but every aspect is something identifiable in the real world. The way we understand the world is from the pictures we see through our eyes each day. Picture books give a great context to that and also help kids relate in their own way.

8. Helps develop reading skills

One of the fundamentals and the fact, every child should be taught to read, sits at the heart of Tom's Storytime. Reading can be developed in a number of ways, so why not do it in the most engaging and fun way possible. Would you have enjoyed it as a child?

9. Helps build compassion and resilience

Life is tough for many. There are a million and one things that stop us progressing and if we don't learn to kick our feet, we'll only move backwards. It falls back into the skills above, the confidence, the compassion for others around that help us grow from reading together. Every step forward in our understanding of words, or how to communicate or how to break down barriers is a step through the murky waters that try to hold us down. Children feel the weight, it's our job to help pull them through the toughest hurdles and give them the tools to negotiate it themselves.

10. Helps improve motivation and self confidence

Motivation and self confidence go hand in hand. Motivation and the ability to achieve goals comes from the confidence we have in ourselves. The confidence we instil when reading overcomes one of the biggest barriers in the classroom and that's learned helplessness. When a child feels they cannot read or not to the standard expected of themselves or others, it plays a role in every aspect of their learning. To build a child's skill set (as above) gives them the tools and belief they can achieve so much more.

I hope you enjoyed my Top 10 Reason to Read Along. If you have any other great reason let us know in the contact section.

As always...

Be Great! Be You!

Tom Story

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