Parents always ask me: How do I get my kid to be a better reader? What can I do to help them? While there are many intervention strategies I can give parents, the one I wish I could give them is a time machine. Because I want them to go back to when they were babies. Not when they were in Kindergarten or Preschool, but babies. Like a week old. Because honestly, starting to think about becoming a good reader at the age of kindergarten is already too late.
And actually, it doesn’t just have to be books. The main thing I would tell parents would be: Talk to your children. Let them experience what a conversation is. When they start to babble, give them a chance to babble and then respond to them.
Check out the following information from Upworthy about the science behind talking to your children.
Why Talking to Babies Is An Investment Worth Making
Did you know that the learning process for kids starts way before kindergarten? And even before pre-school? Babies are actually learning all the time, so how we talk to them is really important because it is literally helping their brains grow!
Unfortunately, kids born in poverty often do not get the interaction needed to promote that kind of brain growth. As a result, they end up hearing 30 million fewer words on average in their earliest years compared to kids born into wealthier families.
And once you’ve mastered the art of talking to your children, reading to them gives them even more of an advantage.
Reading Stimulates Language
(Originally published in American Baby magazine, Updated 2010.)
When you read to your kid, you're interacting with her and allowing her to hear the rhythm of your voice. Plus, you're exposing her to many words that don't typically come up in everyday life. For instance, when was the last time you said "hippopotamus" in casual conversation? And not only is she exposed to more words, she's introduced to different word orders: Is it a unicorn? It is a unicorn! Studies show that children who are read to have greater language comprehension and a more expressive vocabulary. Getting tired of reading Goodnight Moon ? You don't necessarily have to read every word of a book for it to be beneficial. As you go through the pages, talk about the pictures, point out the colors and objects, and ask questions about the various scenes.
So don't wait! Babies are never too young to hear great literature or have a conversation with!
Mondays with Mandy or Mira consists of Mandy Yates and Mira Reisberg. Mira is the founder of the Children's Book Academy and was so impressed with Mandy when she was a student in one of the interactive courses, that she invited Mandy to share the blog. Mandy has as an MFA in creative writing from Spalding University and has been published multiple times in Highlights Magazine. We hope you enjoy and find our offerings helpful.
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