Book-sharing lays the foundation for later learning
Book-sharing is a wonderfully simple and effective way to improve children’s language, attention span and brain development – laying the foundations necessary to go to school. It also enhances children’s social skills, helping them to better understand, empathize with and get along with people.
The practice of book-sharing, involves an adult engaging a child in conversation with a picture book, relating it to the child’s own experience, encouraging curiosity and thinking skills; it is a wonderfully simple and effective way to drive children’s language development, increase attention span, and advance their cognitive development and social understanding. Parents and caregivers are also transformed by book-sharing, with studies showing that they become more sensitive and responsive to their child’s interests, communication and feelings – irrespective of their economic status or education. Most importantly, bonding over a book stimulates a rich and rewarding interaction for both the caregiver and child.
Sikunye, in partnership with The Mikhulu Trust, offers a 5-day training to church volunteers wishing to implement supportive book-sharing with parents and caregivers of children in the First Thousand Days (FTD) of life. Book-sharing, which is endorsed by the World Health Organization, is an 8-week parenting course (once a week) designed to stimulate a rich interaction between an adult and a child over a wordless picture-book.
Book-sharing is amazing. A single mom of a 3 and 9 years old shared how it has changed her family life. Her negative way of thinking, which stemmed from her difficult upbringing, has shifted to a more positive outlook. Through book-sharing she has also learned how to apply the taught principles of positive feedback, affirmation and making time to be with one’s children. She has also been encouraged by listening to and engaging with the experiences of other parents – hearing how they do things and talking together about how to overcome challenges has helped her so much. Truly, when God puts the right tools in our hands, and we step out into what He’s showing us – transformation happens!