‘If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairytales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairytales.’ Albert Einstein
I grew up in a household with a brother who valiantly faced a life with dyslexia in a time when not much was known about it. My heart aches for him when I consider the shame, isolation and fear that he experienced as a small child with a brilliant mind. So amazing was his ability that, he managed to fool his Grade 1 teacher into thinking he could read for the better part of a year. In those days the entire class sat on the mat in front of the teacher for reading out loud. Each child was given an opportunity to read a page from the ‘Janet and John’ reader. He had memorised the words that went with each picture in the book, so that when it came to his turn to read, he merely looked at the picture and was able to recite the words. Brilliant, you would think, however, his brilliance was never celebrated. He spent most days facing a corner, with a dunce hat on his head, because when he was unable to copy sentences from the board neatly and correctly, he was thought to be lazy. Thank goodness education has progressed from that kind of cruel behaviour.
It was during these years, watching my baby brother struggle, that I learned the power of the written word and that reading or hearing words read, is fundamental to functioning in today’s society.
Reading or hearing the written word
In order for my brother to successfully learn his content subjects for exams or tests, my Mom and I took turns to record all the information from his school books, onto tape cassettes. He would memorise his entire school syllabus by listening to the recordings. A gift his school drama teacher noticed and admired, which translated into my brother being given the leading role in most school plays. One year he played the part of Scrooge as well as the Ghost of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Four distinct roles and lines to learn and he was brilliant! Never discount the value of an Audio book, if your child is not a keen reader. It has all the benefits of reading, bar learning the spelling of words.
What are the benefits of reading or audio books?
- It is a brain exercise which improves vocabulary and comprehension. Everyday activities like: reading instructions on a medicine bottle, filling out an application form, reading warning signs, even following a map require reading and quick comprehension. The more you read, the quicker you are able to comprehend. Most careers today require you to read reports or memos and good reading and comprehension skills reduce the amount of time it takes you to absorb information and to react.
- Audio books teach us to listen and focus on what someone else is saying, promoting good listening skills and improving your ability to concentrate.
- Memory improves as you have to remember characters, backgrounds, details and associations within the story.
- Reading and listening to audio books, develops the imagination and the creative side of children, while helping them to relax and keeping them entertained.
- Reading helps us to discover new things and other parts of the world and different cultures, beliefs and ideas. It helps us to educate ourselves long after school days are done.
- Empathy is developed and a better understanding of other people.
- Spelling and vocabulary will definitely be improved and give your child confidence to express themselves adequately and makes them more articulate, with a good self image.
- Critical thinking skills are boosted as the reader tries to predict the stories end. This in turn encourages analytical thinking, challenging the reader to think of other possibilities.
- Reading books aloud to your child, enhances their imagination. They learn to love the sound of language, before they even notice the existence of the printed word.
- Studies have shown that tots who had stories read to them, do well at all facets of formal education and perform much better at school.
I am so keen for children to get excited about reading or listening to stories. I hope you have noted the many benefits derived from books. Many teenagers and Moms just don’t have the time to read, so we are working on some short story, quick reads. The first one is a Romance called Lonely Lies and is available for FREE on www.tot2teentools.co.za for the month of August only. Please download your copy. There is also a historical romantic novella for sale at the very affordable price of R55.00, called Tabitha. Both reads have received very positive reviews. Please click on Sneak Peeks on my website for three, age related, audio book experiences. Hope you enjoy them!
Get your book published
Please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you or your child would like to publish a book for children or teens, in an ebook format. For a small fee, you can use my website as your publishing platform and sell your books. I will do the proofreading and book format, before publishing. I would love to gather books written in as many of our SA official languages as possible.