It sounds almost too simple to be true, but by reading regularly with your children during their preschool years, you are giving them the biggest boost toward a successful education they will ever get.
Read together 15 minutes every day!
Studies have shown that 74% of children who leave third grade reading below grade lever never catch up.
Reading to your child for 15 minutes a day can help make sure he or she stays on track! Reading to a child 15 minutes a day, from birth on, will give the child the skills needed to become a proficient reader. Fifteen minutes a day – it’s as simple as that!
We know you are busy – fixing meals, laundry, after school activities, work – they all take precious time. But it’s easy to find 15 minutes each day to read to a child. Reading is the key to academic success and employment opportunities.
This story about Jennifer will help you totally understand the impact of reading to your child. It is an excerpt from The Read-Aloud Handbook that indicates what a major difference you can make in the life of your child by reading to them:
Our daughter Jennifer was born in September 1984. One of the first gifts we received was a copy of The Read-Aloud Handbook. We read the introductory chapters and were very impressed by the story of Cushla and her family. We decided to put our daughter on a “diet” of at least ten books a day. She had to stay in the hospital for seven weeks as a result of a heart defect and corrective surgery. However, we began reading to her while she was still in intensive care; and when we couldn’t be there, we left story tapes and asked the nurses to play them for her.
For the past seven years we have read to Jennifer at every opportunity. She is now in the first grade and is one of the best readers in her class. She consistently makes 100 on reading tests and has a very impressive vocabulary. She can usually be found in the reading loft at school during free time, and at home she loves to sit with my husband or me and read a book.
What makes our story so remarkable is that Jennifer was born with Down Syndrome.
THE BENEFITS OF READING ALOUD AS A FAMILY
Research has shown that reading out loud to children is the single most important thing a parent can do to prepare a child for future academic success. Here are some of the benefits of reading books to your children:
- Reading aloud helps to bond the parent and child.
- Reading aloud provides a shared family frame of reference and the material for family "in jokes" We got lots of these when we read the Ralph Moody series together.
- Being read to helps a child to understand the purpose of the printed word.
- Being read to builds a child's vocabulary beyond what he is able to read for himself, and provides the background for a new reader to recognize new words he is decoding because he knows what they mean.
- Being read to helps a young child learn the connection between the written and printed word.
- Being read to entices a child into an exciting world of learning and entertainment
- Being read to helps a child absorb great amounts of information about the world and how it works, especially if parents lead children into discussing what is read.
- Being read to develops listening skills.
- Reading books aloud gives the family an alternative to the media for entertainment.
- Being read to helps the child develop a taste for excellent literature.
One will only get the maximum good from reading aloud if books are carefully chosen and appropriate for the age and interests of your child. You'll find some excellent suggestions on the web site of Barb's People Builders, your local North County education supplier. This page also reviews many books written to help parents choose the best literature to read aloud to their children.
©Barbara Radisavljevic 1997