It turns out reading early, and reading a lot is a big deal.
• “Past early literacy research emphasized the importance of daily adult/child reading time, as well as having 100 or more books in one’s home, and its link to a child being academically ready and successful in kindergarten. (my note: they can be library books or books picked up from yard sales.)’
• “Recent research has proved that reading as a stand-alone activity will not help children with pre-literacy skills (Phillips et al., 2008). Unfortunately, the latest research on parent involvement in early literacy has stressed that children need to be given more specific skills while being read to in order to be successful with early literacy skills.”
I do remember my mother initially reading with me and asking about the title etc. Once I had gained fluency, however, whenever I told my mother I was bored, she would say, “Go read.” It is one of the secret’s to motherhood: You teach your children how to entertain themselves with reading– but only if you limit screens will that work. Children will always pick junk food before they want to eat something healthy. We as parents have to create the right circumstances that encourage reading, and limiting our child’s access to screens will do that.
Sebastian Wren, PhD., said:
“If you are reading this, chances are you are a habitual reader, meaning you read on average an hour or two a day. As such, I can say with some authority, that most of the words you know, you learned through the act of reading. Research has shown that past the 4th grade, the number of words a person knows depends primarily on how much time they spend reading In fact, by the time they reach adulthood, people who make a habit of reading have a vocabulary that is about four times the size of those who rarely or never read. This disparity starts early and grows throughout life.”
Dr. Wren continues,
“The average student learns about 3,000 words per year in the early school years — that’s 8 words per day2 , but vocabulary growth is considerably worse for disadvantaged students than it is for advantaged students 3
Dr. Wren finishes,
“Why is the size of your vocabulary so important ? Imagine how much harder your life would be if you didn’t understand 75% of the words you currently know. Think how difficult it would be to read a paragraph if you didn’t understand many of the words written there? What if you were reading a page from a web site and it was like reading this paragraph:
“While hortenting efrades the populace of the vaderbee class, most experts concur that a scrivant rarely endeavors to decry the ambitions and shifferings of the moulant class. Deciding whether to oxant the blatantly maligned Secting party, most moulants will tolerate the subjugation of staits, savats, or tempets only so long as the scrivant pays tribute to the derivan, either through preem or exaltation.”
We know immersing our children into reading is important, and we have to have the will to do it.
It takes so much work to help our children to become passionate readers. From exposure to interesting books, to time taken to patiently sit with a new reader. The effort is so worth it! Reading is one of the most pleasureful, involving ways that we an experience multiple worlds and times, that we would never have access to otherwise. Robertson Davies said, the goal is “to read for pleasure, but not for idleness; for pastime but not to kill time; to seek, and find, delight and enlargement of life in books” (1959). This is something a committed parent can do– help our children “seek, and find, delight and enlargement of life in books. “
Next post–more specific skills we can help our new readers with.