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Challenge: Reading Together

Reading is Not Just About Cuddle Time

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You probably snuggle up with your kids every night to read them a story. Ohhh, you don’t? Yeah, I thought so. Tired from work? Or just not feeling like reading [enter book you’ve read 100 times] tonight. I get totally get it. No judgment here.

I think we all have been told about how awesome reading is for your child because of the bonding or that it helps kids learn how to read for themselves.

But there may be other benefits as well.

Here are four reasons why reading to children — especially when done regularly — could be crucial to their success.

Stimulates Visual Processing

An August 2015 study highlighted by The New York Times found increased activity in the areas of children’s brains associated with processing images.

What does this mean?

It means even when kids aren’t the ones reading, they are still able to picture the places they are hearing about.

“When kids are hearing stories, they’re imagining in their mind’s eye when they hear the story,” “For example, ‘The frog jumped over the log.’ I’ve seen a frog before, I’ve seen a log before, what does that look like?” John S. Hutton, a clinical research fellow at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the lead author of the paper, told The Times.

It’s Not Just Talking To Them

Another recent study observed that reading aloud to children starting young exposes them to more words than they might hear in everyday chatter.

I mean, if you are any mom, you know that it seems like you use about 25 words with your child, with most sentences starting with ‘Don’t!’ So any kind of different exposure should be a welcomed addition to your child’s development.

And with more vocabulary comes a variety of sentence structures that don’t typically get used in conversation.

Boosting Information Processing

A 2014 study based on data from 4- and 5-year-old Australian children found that — even with controlled factors like parents’ income and education levels — kids whose parents said they read to them at least six days a week scored higher on national tests measuring reading understanding and comprehension than those whose parents said they read to them just once or twice a week or less. These results remained consistent through age 10.

Helps with Problem-Solving

In a survey of 9-month-olds in Ireland, researchers found that children whose mothers said they read and talked to them “often” or “always” up until that age performed better on a private questionnaire used by the University of California at San Francisco and the University of Oregon than those whose moms said they read to them “rarely,” “never,” or “not at all” — even when controlling for mother’s income and education levels.

So How Can We Ensure Daily Reading?

My top suggestion would be to Change Your Daily Reading Time:

Who says you have to read to your child right before bed when EVERYONE is exhausted? Does your child wake you up at the butt crack of the morning but its too late to go back to sleep… Say 6 or 6:30am? Post up with a book before you really get your day started.

Or you can read right before dinner! Every family has a different schedule, so you just need to figure out how to make it work… for your child’s success.

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