My oldest son is in high school at an Orlando private school this year.  I am still reading to him and his siblings every evening.  If this sounds rather unusual to you, consider how reading affects children as they develop.

The majority of today’s Orlando private school educators agree that reading is essential. A good foundation in reading allows children the ability to understand the material for every class they attend, and a love of reading can begin as early as infancy and continue well into adulthood.  When a parent reads a story to a very young child, it is often accompanied with much pointing and emphasis on colors, textures, or simple words on a page.  Babies are infinitely more focused on their interaction with a caring adult than the images or words being presented, but the feeling of security and individual time will generate a positive reaction to books.  Once a child reaches preschool, books become more complex with several words on a page and pictures containing action.  At this age, many children will memorize extended passages or an entire book when it is read frequently.  Then, one magical day, the brain will create a critical synapse and the individual letters will form sounds and  words.  The joy of reading has begun!

Unfortunately, this joy may be short lived if the reading material presented is a schoolbook or information the child finds unappealing.  It is imperative at this point to give your child books he or she finds stimulating.  This may not be a traditional book; instead, your child may be interested in a specific magazine, a graphic novel, or a cookbook!  Nurture this love in your child and fill this desire with enough materials to satisfy their natural ability to read.  Does this necessarily mean you need to spend hundreds of dollars on reading material?  Not at all.  Libraries abound and are fantastic places to spend a few hours a week listening to a story read during story time, checking out books by your child’s favorite author, or enjoying a cozy chair and a picture book.  Engaging with your child at this time will stimulate that desire to read, even outside of their Orlando private school.

Finally, caregivers play a tremendous role in developing a love of reading in their children.  When a parent reads for pleasure, it sends a message to the child that reading is not a forced activity; instead, reading is a fascinating peek at faraway times and worlds confined only by the imagination.

At Lake Forrest Preparatory School, we understand the importance of reading, both inside the Orlando private school system and at home.  To learn about more great ways to help your child become an avid reader, call us at (407) 331-5144.