We were discussing in our reading class this week how research indicates that children who are read to on a regular basis simply know more when they get to school. Besides preparing the child to be a reader, being read to increases vocabulary and allows for more discussion and conversation. Combine that with the regular model of reading fluency from the adult and you have a prescription for a successful reader. We also know that children must be explicitly taught reading kills. Having the language background of hearing and participating in stories provides a wonderful foundation for those reading skills to make sense. It also provides a connection between print, reading and talking. That connection is not automatic with many children.
We don't know for sure what type of a world our child will have in 15 years. One way we can help him is to arm him with skills he will need no matter what the world looks like. Reading is one of those skills.