It’s no secret that building literacy into your child’s developmental years can benefit them for the rest of their lives. But again and again I hear from parents who are concerned about how to get their kids as excited about reading as they are about iPads, phones, and video games.
In my opinion, there’s no comparison.
If you get started reading with your children before they are even at an age where they are reading themselves, it’s more likely that your kids will maintain an affinity for reading as they start to grow up. When my son was young, reading at bedtime was an essential for us—every night when I put him to bed, we read stories to each other (well…when we weren’t too busy making up our own!).
If you’re unsure of whether this kind of routine will work for you, I want to let you know these five crucial benefits of reading with your young children:
• Children who are read to at least three times a week by a family member are almost twice as likely to score in the top 25% in reading compared to children who are read to less than 3 times a week.
• Books contain many words that children are unlikely to encounter frequently in spoken language. Books for kids actually contain 50% more words that children are unlikely to encounter frequently than regular conversation, TV, or radio.
• The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found that children who were read to frequently are also more likely to: count to 20, or higher than those who were not (60% vs. 44%), write their own names (54% vs. 40%), and read or pretend to read (77% vs. 57%).
• The more students read or are read to for fun on their own time and at home, the higher their reading scores. This is especially important because one in six children who are not reading proficiently in the third grade does not graduate from high school on time, a rate four times greater than that for proficient readers.
• Higher reading exposure was 95% positively correlated with a growing region supporting semantic language processing in the brain.
If that’s not enough, you can check out this list of 30 key statistics on children’s literacy! And be sure to let me know if you are planning on reading a bedtime story to your kids tonight after learning all of these facts.