In an increasingly digital age, it's easy to view handwriting as a dying art. Few people own fountain pens; most written correspondence is tapped directly into devices. In Finnish schools, children are no longer taught cursive (joined-up) writing but move straight to keyboards two years after learning their letters.
“Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin …”
So began the famous BBC radio program, 'Listen With Mother', which broadcast stories read by women to children (and their mothers) from 1950 to 1982.
Reading to children has always been associated with mothers. Think of any image in the media depicting 'story time' and chances are it will be of a mother snuggled up with one or two children and a huge book.
“The single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school.”
National Commission on Reading (USA), 1985
Research shows that children who read proficiently in the early school years generally perform better at every stage of their education.