Today is another treat for you all! Mama, educator, and children’s author, Joanna Merideth is providing some amazing info for all you mama’s with readers and upcoming readers!
Beyond blessed that the beautiful, mommy of twins, Brittany Laws, invited me to guest write on her blog!
My name is Joanna Merideth and I am a Pre-K & Kindergarten educator and children’s book author. Do you know the#1 thing teachers need parents to do with their children so they are successful in school? Well, I am excited to tell you the simple, yet complex answer… READ TO THEM! Research shows, via educational studies and my own teaching experience, that reading is the single most important thing a parent needs to do with their child! (“The Read-Aloud Handbook” By: Jim Trelease)
Below are 5 Academic Advantages that children have if their parents read to them everyday:
1- A Positive Relationship Towards Books- when you sit and read with your child, you help him develop a relationship with books. His brain will make positive connections towards books and relate ‘reading’ with comfort, love, and safety. The more enjoyable a child’s experience with books is, the more his brain will be conditioned to actually like reading. I have witnessed children who have positive reading experiences with their parents at home, are more excited about books in the classroom.
2- Larger Vocabulary ‘Word Bank’- Research has shown children by the age of 5 who have been read to at home are exposed to 30 million more words than those who are not!! 30 million!! Reading books with your child everyday exposes her to vocabulary she may not encounter in her daily language. It also gives more understanding to words she already knows and widens her synonym ‘word bank.’ For example, she may know the word ‘mad,’ but if you read ‘The Very Grouchy Ladybug,’ you can explain the word ‘grouchy’ and connect it to ‘mad.’ ALSO- if the child does not know what all the ‘picture words’ are on an alphabet activity like the example on the right, they could get things marked wrong. For example, on an alphabet-coloring ‘J’ page- their may be a picture of a ‘jacket,’ but if the child only knows that picture word to be ‘coat,’ they wouldn’t color in the picture. I found the children who were read to MORE at home, had a bigger vocabulary ‘bank’ to sort through and could think, “well, this is an ‘J’ page, coat begins with C, but what also looks like this picture but beings with an ‘J’… Jacket!”
3- Strong Social-Emotional Development- Depending on the book, you can connect your child’s feelings to character’s feelings! Books open up great opportunities for social and emotional conversation. When reading a story with your little learner, you can dialogue how a character may be feeling or what they may have done differently if they were in that situation. I found relating children’s ‘real-life’ feelings with book character’s feelings is less confrontational and helps them understand feelings of compassion, empathy, and remorse better. Plus, if your child personally connections with a book, they will have a higher comprehension of it!
4- Strong Sense of Phonemic Awareness- In the education world, I feel this is an over-used, hard to understand reading term! Let me simplify it for you: letter sounds! If your child has a strong sense of their letter sounds, they will have a strong sense of phonemic awareness. When you read, discuss beginning, middle, and end sounds of words. Reinforce beginning sounds by repeating the sound: “Brown, /B/ /B/ Brown Bear” or change the B in brown to a ‘C’ and say CROWN! By simply modeling letter sounds and changing letters in words to make NEW words, you are impacting their future reading in a HUGE way!!!
5- Kindergarten Ready- Reading at home with your child helps his whole body prepare for the long haul of learning at school. It conditions his brain and body to sit, focus, and listen to a story. It also opens his mind to ask questions, seek answers, and engage in discussions. All of these things help his brain retain more knowledge and comprehend learning concepts because their whole body has been trained how to listen and learn all while reading on your lap at home ☺
Every year I still had parents express to me that they struggled to find the time to fit reading into their daily schedule. I understand, the days are full and demanding! So I came up with a reading ‘guide’ called, “3-1-3 CHOOSE!” “3-1-3 CHOOSE!” has had a positive impact in my student’s homes over the years.
3- read 3 books in the morning, “you choose, I choose, we choose”
1- read 1 book in the afternoon (decide amongst yourselves who will “choose” the book)
3- read 3 books in the evening: “you choose, I choose, we choose”
3-1-3 CHOOSE! teaches healthy reading habits, time-management, ownership, and compromise! (But you can always read as much as you want!!!)
I am so passionate about reading that I wrote and published 10- ‘early-sight word readers,’ called Mush Mush Readers! I’d be delighted if you checked out my 10 sight word focused, Mush Mush Readers to see if they would be a good fit for your beginning reader at www.mushmushreaders.com or follow me @mushmushreaders for all things early reading!
Early Childhood Educator and Children’s Author