I always said to myself that I will read to my children before they’re even born; Dickens, Bronte, J.K.Rowling. I think what a baby hears before they’re born has such a huge impact on their development. A lot of people are very sceptical about this kind of thing, but what’s the harm in trying it?! Even if it doesn’t work, I’ve just found another excuse for me to reread the Harry Potter series, or Wuthering Heights, for the tenth time.
While I was doing my A Levels – only three years ago – I took up an extra qualification, the EPQ. It counts as an AS-level equivalent and it’s basically a mini dissertation of 5,000 words on a topic of your choice followed by a presentation of fifteen minutes. I chose to entitle mine: “Does Music Affect the Growth and Development of Children and Unborn Babies?”. I focused on the myth (yes, I discovered it is a myth) that playing your child Beethoven and Mozart makes them smarter. It does NOT make your child smarter, but it does improve the rate at which they develop, almost like singing to a plant (but we won’t go there). Babies associate what they heard in the womb with what they are hearing once born. If you play Mozart to your unborn child, it might help to calm and soothe them when they are toddlers.
Now I understand music and reading are totally different concepts; reading has a language barrier whereas Mozart or Beethoven does not, but does it mean we shouldn’t do it? Absolutely not. I would love for my children to be as in love with books as I am; I think I’ve inherited that from my Grandad. As a child, story time was always my favourite time of the day. Occasionally I’d read the story to my mum, or even read to my little brother. I taught myself to read at the age of three, wanting zero help from my mum, often yelling at her if she tried to help. I even read to the kids in nursery! I think I’m obsessed.
My boyfriend, who I’ve been with for three years, absolutely hates reading. I’ve told him the more he reads, the better he’ll become at it, and therefore will enjoy it more. But reading is not something he’ll do when he’s bored (we’re so opposite). I hope our kids take after me in that respect!
For me, reading is such a big part of my life, especially now I’m doing an English Literature degree. I want my children to enjoy it just as much as I do, and I’ll encourage them to read as often as they can.
What are everyone’s thoughts on this?
Picture taken from “Study for Common Things” website here.