What would you do if you found something that would increase your child’s achievement at school, increase their vocabulary and verbal intelligence, help your child develop empathy for others, increase their general knowledge about the world, make them a better writer, increase their attention span, and develop their creativity and imagination? These are all traits that we want our children to develop. The wonderful thing is there really is ONE thing that studies have shown will help your child develop these traits. You will not be surprised that the librarian in saying this, but that one thing is Reading!

 

Countless studies have shown that reading to your child when they are young and then establishing your house as a “reading home” where books are read daily help your child develop and improve in all the areas listed above. I will list a few of these sources below, but a simple Google search will bring you to many more.

 

Parents often ask about the best way to help their child in school and the nice thing is the answer is pretty simple. Reading to your child and with your child really does accomplish a lot. Studies show that about 20 minutes a day seems to be the amount of time that yields the most benefit.

 

Students who scored 90% better than their peers on reading tests, read for more than 20 minutes a day – exposing them to 1.8 million words a year.

 

Students who scored at fifty percentile, read on average only 4.6 minutes a day – exposing them to 282,000 words per year.

 

Students in the ten percentile for reading, read less than 1 minute per day – exposing them to 8,000 words per year.  (It would take them one year to read as many words as what a good reader would read in two days.)

 

When your child is young, read to them aloud. When your child is older and can read on their own, they will still occasionally enjoy being read to by a parent. You can also discuss books with them. Ask them what they checked out at the library. Take advantage of special reading events in town, like the Texas Book Festival and at school, the Scholastic Book fair in January. Build your home library, visit public libraries and let your children see you reading as well.

 

Sometimes it seems like raising kids can be very complicated. It is nice to know that there is a simple thing that can reap great rewards. Read!

 

Blessings,
Tere Hager 
Elementary Librarian & Curriculum Coordinator

 

ChildrenoftheCode, director. YouTubeYouTube, YouTube, 6 June 2010, www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF6VKmMVWEc&feature=youtu.be&t=45s.

Cunningham, Anne E, and Keith E Stanovich. “What Reading Does for the Mind.” Journal of Direct Instruction, 2001, pp. 137–149.

Klass, Perri. “Reading Aloud to Young Children Has Benefits for Behavior and Attention.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 16 Apr. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/04/16/well/family/reading-aloud-to-young-children-has-benefits-for-behavior-and-attention.html.