Saturday, August 18, 2012

Do You Read to Your Child?



It has been proven time and again that the benefits of reading to children are exponential. When you sit down and read a book to your child there is a bonding that takes place that is irreplaceable. It is a soothing and loving thing to spend that one-on-one time with your child. Reading is also calming to the spirit. It settles you down, lets you relax, and if you're doing it at nighttime like we do, it is a great way to bring positive closure to the day.

Reading also helps children recognize sounds and letters, improve their vocabulary, and helps sharpen their listening skills. It also encourages a child's imagination, which brings me to Dialogic Reading. Countless studies have been done that prove Dialogic Reading takes learning for children even further. When you allow your child to be an active participant in the reading...when you encourage them to ask questions, when you allow them to engage in the storytelling (whether they can actually read or not), it allows them to become absorbed in the whole learning process. 



In Early Childhood Research Quarterly, there was a fun and informative academic study done by Anne Hargrave and Monique Sénéchal that showed a marked level of increase in vocabulary for all children who regularly participate in reading (of any kind, including traditional shared book-reading).  There was also irrefutable documentation from the study that proved children who were regularly engaged in Dialogic Reading were consistently shown to receive [significantly] higher scores on standardized expressive vocabulary tests than children who were not.

 
So while you may have heard reading is good for your children...if you delve into the studies just a little bit, you'll find heaps and tons of proven studies that show just how good for them it really can be.  What a fun and easy way to help your child gain a practical and academic edge in life.

We read almost every single night (even if we're on vacation), and it's a mommy-baby time (well, my guy isn't such a baby anymore..but he's my baby) that I wouldn't give up for the world.  Right now pop-up books are amongst his favorites.  We have these two really great pop-ups that we got a couple of years ago from Little One Books.  If you haven't heard of them, they are a terrific online bookstore with super reasonable prices and great customer service (check out their special deals too...there's almost always a great deal in that section).  The first book you can see in the pictures above, and it's a really simple, fun book. 

The other book is pretty extraordinary, I have really never seen anything like it, and it's called DC Super Heroes - The Ultimate Pop-Up book.  It was created by Matthew Reinhart, and if you haven't heard of him, I suggest taking a look at his website. His work is better than fantastic.  There is the huge pop-up picture in the center of the page (Batman's page has a light-up Bat Signal that never fails to amuse and entertain us), and then there are little pop-ups on the corners too.  It's really an incredible book to have in your library, especially if you have a child who has a "thing" for super heroes. (which at the moment we definitely do).  This book would also make a GREAT gift idea!





It doesn't matter what type of book you get, or read to your child, just so long as you do it.  It's such an easy and warm way to get that bonding time in, that also doubles as a huge knowledge-based benefit for them...and it really doesn't take a lot of time.  We read throughout the day sometimes, but part of our going-to-sleep routine is spent reading a good book or two, and it usually takes only about half an hour or so.  The intrinsic gains you get cannot be measured (there's just sometimes special about reading with your little ones) but the external gains your child receives will become apparent too.  Kids who read regularly simple learn more and learn faster than kids who don't.  The time to act then, is now.  Scoop your little one up, grab a book, and let the learning begin.  You'll be glad you did, and your child will be too.


28 comments:

  1. Snuggling up with my kids and reading with them are such sweet moments. It's especially cool those first couple of years they learn to read. I love hearing the way they form words. :)

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  2. I really need to read to my daughter more and more. I find her having snuck out of her crib, asleep with a book surrounded by stuff animals. Think she's telling me something!

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    1. Aww, I hope you got a picture. Maybe she's reading to her stuffed animals. :)

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  3. we are readers--I have to say this summer was a LOT LESS then I'd have liked -BUT OUTSIDE PLAY JUST RULED!!!

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    1. If you live somewhere seasonal (like I do), being outside is that much more special too, I know. :)

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  4. I already read to my 3 month old. It will be even more special when he can really understand and interact!

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    1. Good for you, Gina! Reading can never be overlooked in importance, it is such a great foundation for so many things that we come across later.

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  5. Oh my! I want that pop-up book! For myself! Haha! :)

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    1. I know...they're awesome. We're getting another for his birthday, and I'm thinking I'll order Matthew Reinhart's latest one on Amazon during the holidays. I have it on my mental Christmas list (yeah, I start early) as a great gift idea too. :)

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  6. I started reading Dr. Seuss books when I was still pregnant & they (my girls) would actually start kicking with all the rhyming going on (I love Dr. Seuss). My girls are 16 & 22 now, but I always read to them.

    Stopping by from VoiceBoks!

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    1. One Fish Two Fish was the first book my daughter learned to read. :)

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  7. Rosey... I could not agree with you more. We have read so much to our daughter that now (before entering Kindergarten) she reads to us! Grace, peace and blessings, Carla

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    1. It's the best when they read to us. My two oldest boys let me read to them until about the sixth grade (both of them), and then they got 'too old for it.' :)

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  8. I miss reading to my daughter. We used to do that every night, and yes, it was relaxing for us both. I think that's why she has grown to love books, and is quite ahead in her class when it comes to reading.

    Those pop-up books are cool!

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    1. My mom read to me, and I remember loving to read. I still do. Summers were all about the library for me when I was a kid. It was within walking distance, and I loved picking out a huge stack of books and coming home and reading each and everyone of them, front to back.

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  9. Everything you say is so right on. As an elementary school teacher, I could often pick out the kids who were read to. Their background knowledge was wider, their vocabulary was richer, their reading skills were more advanced. Now, as a parent, I love reading with my boys and talking about books. I just started reading easy chapter books to my 4-year-old (Junie B. Jones--I knew he would love her devilish personality).

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    1. I haven't started chapter books w/my toddler yet, but I have been considering it. I just looked up the blurb on Junie B. Jones and it looked really cute! Then I saw that there are close to 30 of the books written, the author consistently places on the "big" top-selling lists, & she has won many awards for her work, lol. I guess I've been under a rock with this one. :) Def. curious to check the books out. Thanks for stopping by the blog.

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  10. I do not have children but I love reading to the kids at school. I'm amazed by how many of them are not read to at home and I enjoy reading all different books to them at literature time.

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    1. I just enrolled in a Children's Literature course...even though my classwork is officially done and this is non-degree related. It seems silly, but I can't WAIT to delve into that class. :)

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  11. I'm so glad this is still pushed. It's so important, and please parents, do not text or be on your smart phone while reading;)

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    1. Hear, Hear! :)

      Technology is great, but we do have a tendency to let it distract us at times we really shouldn't even be bothering with it. Thanks for the blog visit.

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  12. It's always amazed my how much little kids love to be read to. From the time they were about 8 or 9 months old, all of my children would crawl or cruise over to where I was sitting, with a board book in hand for me to read to them. Even with TV's and video games, my 5 year old will drop anything he's doing if I say, come on let's go read a book. It's definitely a great bonding time, and interacting with the kids while reading to them is such a wonderful way of learning about how you children think and perceive things. It's such a rewarding experience.

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  13. We started out reading to our children. They fell in love with books and we all read all the time. Sometimes we even listen to books on tape together as a family on long car rides.

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  14. I couldn't agree with you more! Thank you so much for linking in with the Kid Lit Blog Hop. Reading to kids is what my link this week is about too! Try out http://wegivebooks.org for free books online. I can't wait to read more from you!

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  15. Hello from my tour of the Kid Lit Blog Hop! I absolutely agree with all you've said here. As a mom, grandmother, and educator, I value literacy so much. The best is when you can go beyond the story and expand their creativity.

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  16. That is a huge and wonderful book. My son would love that! :O)

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  17. I love your article and I love how you incorporated research to back your statements. Ok, that was the researcher in me appreciating the added credibility! ;)

    That pop-up book looks like so much fun. My kids had lots of pop-up books, most of which had to be stitched up with tape! lol But they did LOVE them! So much fun...

    Thanks for linking into the Kid Lit Blog Hop and I'm now following you via email and other ways too! Hope you are having a lovely Sunday! :)

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