Children's books and music are not just fun and games. They play critical roles in children's growth, learning, and development. Children who learn to read early and well have a better chance of reaching their full potential in school and in life. Reading is the most fundamental learning skill; children who do not learn to read when they are young have difficulty learning, achieving, and succeeding throughout their lives.
Read Out Loud
One way, perhaps the best way, to help young children learn to read is to read children's books to them out loud. Based on research the U.S. Department of Education concluded that children who were read to three or more times a week were twice as likely to score in the top 25 percent in reading than children who were read to fewer than three times a week. The difference shows up in the first years of school: children who were read to frequently did better in kindergarten than children who were infrequently or never read to.
Choose Books Thoughtfully
When you read to children and take the time to talk about the kids' books with them, the children's reading, vocabulary, critical thinking, and conversation skills improve. Teachers, parents, and other family members have many choices of books to read to children. As the adult and the reader you get to choose the children's books you like, keeping in mind the interests and comprehension levels of the child. Bookstores with good children's sections, libraries, and online sellers of children's books are excellent sources of reading material for kids.
Teach with Music
Creative teachers use children's music as well as books for teaching. Kid's DVDs employ songs to teach math, science, languages, social studies, and the fine arts. Music is a universal language that promotes creativity, listening, reading, and comprehension; listening to music is a natural way to learn. Music education experts recommend exposing children to a variety of music starting at a very young age. While many excellent musicians specialize in children's music, children also respond to music that is not written and performed just for their age group. In addition to designated kid's songs, play classical music, jazz, hip-hop, country and western and world music. See how the different types of music affect the children's moods and behavior.
Clapping, tapping, humming, dancing, singing, drumming, and playing instruments bring the music world even more into children's lives, appealing to the many ways in which kids learn. We probably all remember one of the first songs we ever learned-the ABC song that taught us the alphabet. A number of audio books for children combine music with the spoken word, a combination that helps children make the connections between the different ways language they can use language.
Make Learning Fun
Books and music give children interactive ways to learn. They encourage children to use their creativity, build on natural talents, strengthen their minds, develop higher order thinking skills, and enhance their self-esteem. Most of all they show kids that learning can be fun.
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Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies.
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