Family Reading Time

This past summer, I signed up for a Summer Reading Program sponsored by Barefoot Books.  Each week I received an email with Literacy Tips and Book Lists to Ignite a Child’s Love of Reading.  Lots of helpful information was shared over the 12 weeks, but one email in particular impacted me and in turn, my family.  This particular email about “Why Reading Aloud is the Single Most Important Thing You Can Do” is something I want to share with you today.

We’ve all heard that reading to our children is important, but you might be surprised to learn just how much of an impact it has. Research shows that, of all the academic subjects, reading is the subject most responsive to family influence.

And since reading ability is a strong predictor of overall academic success, when families read together, it makes a huge difference for children.

In fact, early exposure to reading aloud has such a long-term influence on children’s outcomes, pediatricians in the United States are now required to prescribe reading to parents of all babies…from birth!

Not only does reading together help children’s cognitive development, but it also strengthens your parent-child bond. Creating a daily read aloud routine is one of the most important things you can do to support your child’s healthy development!

Stefanie Paige Grossman, M.S.Ed

Early Childhood Education / Infant & Parent Development Expert

Global Program Director, Barefoot Books

One line in particular haunted me after I read it – Creating a daily read aloud routine is one of the most important things you can do to support your child’s healthy development!  After reading that I realized I had let the ball drop for my kids.  Don’t get me wrong, I read with my children A LOT, but we have never really established a set read aloud routine.

I remember that when I was a child, every evening, my brothers and I would curl up on my parents’ bed and listen to Mom read aloud. My favorite books were the chapter books – the Bobbsey Twins in particular.  Each night we would read a chapter or two, and the four of us couldn’t wait until the next evening to see what happened next in the story.  I remember that we did this until my youngest brother was well into elementary school – which meant that I was in Middle School/High School when it ended.  Thoughts of those nights bring back a lot of memories.  They also bring back a feeling of warmth and closeness to my brothers and my mom.  However, the best thing that came out of those experiences is a love of hearing my mother read (or anyone read for that matter) and a true love of stories.    I want the same for my children.

This month we are starting a family reading time.  We purposely shut off the TV and read together.  We cuddle together on Mommy & Daddy’s bed and spend at least 15 minutes together reading stories.  My husband takes turns reading aloud as well so that the kids can see that it’s not just Mom that reads.  When the kids are a little older, I plan to start reading some of my favorite chapter books to them.  I can’t wait!

Do you have a favorite story that you read to your kids?

Have a Great Week!