Thursday, September 30, 2010

Please read me a story!

If you have young children, are you reading stories to them every day? According to the Reach Out and Read organization, “Reading aloud to young children is the single most effective thing parents can do to help prepare their children to succeed in school.”

Unfortunately, not all children are read to daily. The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study followed 14,000 children born in 2001. What percentage of those children were read stories daily by family members? I was shocked to find out that in all age groups, it was less than 46%!
  • 9-months-old: 32.5%
  • 2-years-old: 45.3%
  • 4-years-old: 38.6%

Besides spending some wonderful time together, reading stories together provides opportunities for discussing your values with your children. Recently I was reading Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day to a group of preschoolers. We got to the part where Alexander’s best friend has just demoted him from best friend to third best friend at which point Alexander says to him “I hope you sit on a tack.” We had a great discussion around questions like “Is it ok to say mean things to people if you’re really mad at them? What else could Alexander have done?”
 
Enjoy reading a story to your children tonight!

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