TREASURE OF THE FUTURE: BOOKS
Books stimulate children’s imagination, increase their thinking capacity, expand their vocabulary, and make learning the native language easier for them. Based on the data by Turkish Statistical Institute, Turkish people read 8.4 books per capita in a 78 million populated country. 2017 Performance Program, published by the Ministry of National Education, reveals that while the number of books per student at elementary school is 25, this number drops drastically as the students get older.
Hakan Yıldız, Lecturer, Izmir University of Economics, Vocabulary School of Health Services, Child Development Program, reported that endearing reading to children was an important step in shaping the future of a child.
‘Picture books arouse curiosity’
Yıldız stated that children, starting from the early ages, were introduced to pictures, shapes, colors in books and magazines, and interest in reading started during that process, that feeling stimulated children to read. Yıldız said, “Young child with no reading and writing skills, would be interested in knowing what the book is about through the pictures and that would cause a desire in reading. At this point, parents have an important role in guiding their children. They should step in, satisfy their curiosity in reading, be role models to their children and support them by reading books.”
‘Reading habit is instilled during childhood’
Yıldız indicated that one of the main reasons of decrease in reading habits was caused by parents who lacked reading habits when they were kids themselves. Yıldız stated that books stimulated children’s imagination and increased their thinking capacity. “A child, who learns thinking, gets more successful in developing new ideas, develops self-expression skills. Learns critical thinking, multi-thinking, and is able to make more solid decisions. Books expand children’s vocabulary, and make learning the native language easier for them. Researches show that number of words used by people in daily life is very low. Learning a second language, for a child who learns his/her native language easily and correctly, would not be difficult”, Yıldız said.
‘Reading should not be overrated’
Yıldız pointed cognitive development of children occurred intensely and rapidly during pre-school period, and that language and cognitive development were parallel to each other. He said that books surely played an important role in that. Yıldız stated the following:
“Reading books has many effects on children including developing their personality structure and social skills, helping them gain organization habits and making sense of their environment and the whole world. Parents should take books and endearing reading habit to children seriously. More colored picture books appropriate to their age and level should be chosen. During the day, they should read books that would arouse their interest and make them quest. And at bedtime, they should read books to make them comfortable and dream about nice things in their sleep.”
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