Helen and I talked about reading to children on 29th August.
Honestly, there is hardly a better way to build everything that is worth living for!
When we read and share story we are bringing language, connected relationship, practice of emotional regulation, the chance to imagine and dream; and to see and understand the world from inside someone else’s mind.
Sharing story supports children to learn how to read the emotions of others. Children see expressions depicting differing emotions on the faces of the illustrated characters, and on the reader’s face; at the same time they hear the tone of voice of the reader and hear the language; as well as feel the emotional valence of the story. And they learn to connect the information from all of these sources. This broadens their ability to draw meaning and understanding of the world around them from a wide range of cues.
Shared reading is as much about sharing emotion as it is about language development. The joyful and tender connections during a story are emotional salve and strength to any of us. They lay the building blocks for a lifetime of deep, caring and other-minded, interpersonal bonds.
Story brings fun, as well as interpersonal warmth. it brings the full rnage of emotions that the human creature is capable of.
It brings knowledge. Words are ‘concept packages’. Our knowledge lies in the words we know. The more of them we have, the more we can know about our inner and outer worlds. Words are currency for children at school. They are currency for any of us.
And hearing the human voice is powerful for stimulating children’s developing brains to learn to discern the sounds of the language. In English this is very important because the key to the code of reading and writing English lies in being able to discern the individual speech sounds. It is by heariing these sounds clearly and affectionately that this discernment ability is built.
There is so much more to say about reading. But it’s better to just go and do it with a good book! And if you are in Hobart on the Saturday mornings of September, pop into Fullers and listen to the Chatter Matters team read and share and inform and laugh and love… right there in the middle of the bookshop!