Saturday, October 15, 2011

Do You Make Time to Read to Kids Each Day?

Benefits of Reading to Children: The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease

One of my favorite experiences working as a nanny is seeing my little 20-month old charge walk proudly out of the library carrying a book she has borrowed for the week. She is so cute carrying her book out of the library, with her chest puffed out, walking a little taller, with a happy gait.

In fact, I have loved taking kids to story time, or to the children's library, at every nanny job. That's why I started reviewing a book each Saturday on this blog in a series I call the Weekly Trip to the Library.

This week, on the Be the Best Nanny Newsletter blog we started our discussion with a review by Maria Lopez of a reading system called BrillKids for babies and toddlers. Ms. Lopez works as a nanny and despite advice from experts suggesting it's impossible for children to learn to read under two-years old, she (and others) swear the program is beneficial.

Whether children can learn to read or not before two-years of age, we can all agree that one of the most important tools for learning starts with a love of books. To nurture that love, we must read books aloud to children.

Reading books aloud to children is so simple. According to Esme Raji Codell, author of How to Get Your Child to Love Reading, reading doesn't require any special training. Ms. Codell explains, "In fact, it is so easy on everyone's part that it hard to believe an activity only slightly more kinetic than television viewing could yield results that verge on the miraculous."

In his book, The Read-Aloud HandbookJim Trelease lists the benefits of reading aloud to children. Reasearch by Jim Trelease shows that sharing books:

  1. Conditions the child to associate reading with pleasure, which is necessary to maintain reading as a lifelong activity.
  2. Contributes to background knowledge for all other subjects including science, history, geography, math, and social studies.
  3. Provides the child with a reading model.
  4. Creates empathy toward other people because books offer insight into different lifestyles, values, and humanity.
  5. Increases a child's vocabulary, grammar, and writing skills.
  6. Improves a child's chances of staying in school.
  7. Improves future probability of employment.
  8. Increases life span by higher education, better employment, and higher quality of life.
  9. Lowers probability of imprisonment.
  10. Improves problem-solving and critical-thinking skills needed for all other areas of learning.
  11. Offers information.
  12. Offers laughter and entertainment and an alternative to television.
  13. Improves attention span.
  14. Stimulates the imagination.
  15. Nurtures emotional development and improves self-esteem.
  16. Reading skills are necessary for academic success.
Do you make time to read books to the children you care for each day?


Sarah Marie said...

Yes, of course! My charges are three months old and nineteen months old and I read to both of them multiple times a day. The three month old almost instantly calms down when he hears the cadence of a children's story, and the older boy loves "reading along" and identifying objects in the colorful illustrations.

I find it a soothing part of our day. Much preferable to the television shows their parents sometimes turn on! :)

Anonymous said...

How screwed up is this, the kids don't have time to read! They have too many after school activities they aren't even reading before they go to bed.

Steph 6 said...

The older kids love it too! Don't stop reading to them even as they get older. Sounds crazy but before tv and video games families sat around and played piano and read books together. The older kids love watching as I read to their little brother.