Kindergarten Readiness and Early Learning Basics – Books

Parents and caregivers often ask what young children need to know before kindergarten; this is the second in a series of blog posts on kindergarten readiness and early learning basics. No matter the age of your little one, this will give you a general picture of what to do as your child’s very first teacher.

If you were building a house, would you rather just set it on the ground or have a good, sturdy foundation? You can help your child build a strong foundation for learning to read from even before your child is born. How? By reading books. Lots and lots and lots of books. Before your child is born, sit down to read a book, take a deep breath, snuggle into the chair, read some parts aloud, and enjoy it!! Not even a twinge of guilt for relaxing with a book because your child’s brain is recording the great vibes attached to books. After birth, when you find your little one is fussy, do that again. Sit down, take a deep breath, snuggle into the chair and read a book, triggering those same great vibes. (This doesn’t work 100% of the time, but you will be astonished as your little one curls up, too.)

book-houseYour child may not yet understand the words but the brain is recording them. Babies and toddlers do not always want to sit for a whole book but start with a few simple pages. All too soon, you will find there is a book that even your one-year old will find way at the back of the toy box where you hid it because you really do not want to read it again.

The importance of books is not an exaggeration. In families that read stories to children, did you know that before the kids start school they have already had the benefit of about 5,000 books? It only takes 3 or 4 stories a day, several times a week to add up to more than a thousand. That keeps piling up to be 5,000 or more, and gazillions more brain connections and learning.

To use another comparison, if learning to read were a hike up a mountain, children who have been read to at home are starting way far ahead. Books aren’t just for bedtime but anytime. Can you include some books in your child’s day?

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