One of the important “rules” for getting children interested in reading is not only for them to see the adults in their life reading, but to being read to. From personal observation I would say reading to a child has the same interactive, relational type effect as talking with them for language acquisition and then learning.
Now that I am back on steroids and antibiotics I have a voice. So last night, for the first time in ages I read the children too stories (Fin M’Coul and The Squire and the Scroll in case you wondered). I realised that we need to do this more often if possible. I haven’t read a complete story to them (let alone two) for so long. I realised last night that even though I sit with them most often when they are listening to audio stories, because the audio is just to replace my voice, that it still isn’t the same as having me do the reading. There is definitely something extra in the interaction when it’s my voice as well as presence.
I can’t help thinking of all that research into why hearing children in Deaf families learn Sign Language but not oral language even though their parents expose them to TV and radio to help this. The reason is that language is acquired and then learned though interactive, close relationships. Children require a close one to one time for language acquisition and very small group time for listening and being part of a story time. Machine’s simply can’t replace this, no matter how good the audio quality.
I need to make more effort to read to them when I have a voice. It can be frustrating when my voice fades out half way through a story, but maybe we can have an arrangement where either Roni or Avila take over if that happens.
I am not up to date on what research or studies have to say about the importance of reading to children, but I assume from a common sense point of view that it is very important for reading and language and even attachment.
So, I must do more of it whenever I can.