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Books We Read Shape Who We Are

posted Oct 22, 2014, 8:57 AM by Brenda Williams   [ updated Oct 22, 2014, 9:09 AM ]
Often in conversations with parents, I am asked how parents can help children to be more successful at school. The simplest, most inexpensive way a parent can help is in the area of at- home reading. The Best Books for Kids website states, “The benefits of reading start with the first book a baby hears and continues into childhood and throughout the child's life.” 

The following list from The Best Books for Kids website is their 10 Benefits of Reading - why reading is important and why children and adults should read:
  1. Kids who read often and widely get better at it.
  2. Reading exercises our brains.
  3. Reading improves concentration.
  4. Reading teaches children about the world around them.
  5. Reading improves a child’s vocabulary, leads to more highly-developed language skills and improves the child's ability to write well. Nagy and Herman’s research showed the correlation between reading minutes and vocabulary development. If a child reads at home on school days: 1 minute a day (180 minutes in school year) = 8,000 words. 5 minutes a day (900 minutes in school year) = 282,000 words 20 minutes a day (3600 in school year) = 1,800,000 words
  6. Reading develops a child’s imagination.
  7. Reading helps kids develop empathy.
  8. Because reading does all the things mentioned above, children who read do better at school.
  9. Reading is a great form of entertainment!
  10. Reading relaxes the body and calms the mind.
At home, help younger students develop a reading habit by establishing a reading routine together. As students develop reading skills and strategies, you may want to alternate reading together and reading independently. If reading independently, encourage reading of a ‘just right’ book by having your child read the back and front cover, and first page of the book. If there are more than five words that he/she cannot pronounce or understand in context, the book may be too challenging. Reading ‘just right’ books helps readers feel more confident and successful. Encouraging your child to consistently read at home will ultimately benefit learning at school. Just as in life, the more we practice - the better we get! 

Happy Reading!

-- Melissa Hesch, Principal - Eagle View Elementary
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