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The Most Important Predictor Of A Child's Academic Success

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Children are incredible little cognitive powerhouses. They are constantly growing, learning, observing and soaking in their environments. By starting educational processes at an early age, kids will have a major leg up later in life.

So what's one of the most fundamentally important pillars of learning and mental development? Reading!

Here are a few thoughts on why reading leads to academic success, and how you can promote reading in your own home.

Reading helps children become well rounded. Experts agree that reading is vital to a well-rounded childhood and leads to better academic outcomes in nearly every measurable category. Having a book filled home is a statistically significant factor in predicting how well a child will perform later in school.

For young children, many crucial concepts make first-contact through the power of storytelling and narrative. This applies not only to concepts, but to vocabulary, too. Seeing words on paper is a great way for a child to learn new words, and children who read are shown to have a massive advantage when it comes to their repertoire of words.

Analytical thinking also benefits. Reading's benefits to analytical thinking are many, and the act of reading itself is known to improve focus and attention span in young children. These benefits translate well into improved performance in almost every aspect of a typical school curriculum.

From standardized testing to higher levels of the education system, many of the literary and verbal skills honed through reading will be of tremendous value to a child.

Maintaining reading discipling in a busy world. Reading is a simple and inexpensive way to give a child an advantage in life. But in many cases this is more easily said than done. In our digitally driven world, kids seem to have distractions at every turn.

Instead of making reading feel like a mandatory chore, try and make it about the child themselves. What experiences can your child connect with? What lessons might they be interested in? Are they more receptive to story time in the morning, or at night?

When considering how to engage a child with books, ask yourself these simple questions and you're sure to make reading a more emotionally rewarding experience for a child.

You'll help kindle a flame inside of a child that will hopefully grow into a burning passion for books and language. And in doing so, you'll set them up for success in a world that demands ever increasing levels of literacy.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.