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Boost Learning With One Simple Key

Amber Brandt  |  March 16, 2016

‚ÄčAs parents and caregivers, our role includes guiding and nurturing our children’s development in all areas of their life - which can sometimes feel like a tall order! Our lives are hectic and we’re bombarded with conflicting advice on the best way to parent. The good news is there’s at least one tried-and-true practice that everyone can agree has positive, lasting effects on your child’s wellbeing - with very little cost: Reading aloud to them!

Reminding us (yet again) that her impeccable style was just the beginning to her brilliance, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis once said, “There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” Books encourage your child to be curious, imaginative and engaged in learning - plus, snuggling! Reading together is also great because it:

  • Improves your child’s ability to learn and read independently 
  • Helps develop their vocabulary 
  • Provides entertainment, soothing, bonding and other social emotional gains
  • Increases the likelihood of their overall school success 
  • Helps to foster a lifelong love of books and reading 
  • Provides a substantial return on your investment
As it turns out, the magic benefits of reading together also grow with time - the more you do it, the larger the affect. According to Literacy Connections, “U.S. Department of Education analysis found that children who were read to at least three times a week by a family member were almost twice as likely to score in the top 25 percent in reading than children who were read to less than three times a week. Just like physical exercise, there are cumulative benefits when you do something regularly.”

In honor of National Reading Month, here are some simple tips you can consider to make reading together a normal, enjoyable part of your daily rhythm:

  • Choose a regular time and a comfortable place to connect over a book
  • Eliminate other distractions - turn off devices and television 
  • Talk about the story together. Encourage your child to ask questions about the characters, words, pictures or plot, and ask what they liked. 
  • Invite older children to read their favorite parts aloud to you or take turns reading chapter books to each other.