Learning to read is like learning to ride a bicycle. You need the right equipment, lots of support and time to practice.
It is well established that being able to read and write well leads to academic success and improved self-expression and self-confidence. However, international benchmark assessments show that more than half of South African school-going children cannot read for meaning by Grade 4. Further research shows that it becomes increasingly difficult for a child to catch up after Grade 3, so they simply fall further and further behind.
So, besides the obvious answer that we can’t learn well if we can’t read with understanding, reading also opens up the world to the reader.
Long before your children learn to read for themselves, they see you and others find meaning in the words and pictures in books and, as a result, they want to know how to do that. Reading to your child is therefore a key ingredient in motivating your child to want to learn to read for themselves.
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