reading helps kids start school

How to Steal a March #2: Reading Books to Kids Builds Brain Power

One of the most important activities you can do at home before children go to school is to read books because reading books to kids builds brain power. Books are superfood for brains.

reading to kids builds brain power

How much reading do you have to do in a day? While some jobs are mostly hands-on, many ordinary tasks involve reading. Any important road signs you read on your way to work? Your phone may beep to remind you to do something, but you likely check text messages countless times a day. Picking up a few groceries involves reading. Now toddlers and preschool kids aren’t yet reading, but the challenge of learning to read is far, far easier on kids that have experience with books.

Let’s make a quick switch from words to numbers. If you read 5 books a day to your child a few times a week, that’s 25 books. In just a month, that’s 100 books and in a year, 1000. By the time your child gets to school, you have downloaded 5000 books into the brain’s computer. That’s like a library already there in your child’s brain. No wonder learning to read is so much easier for kids that have had lots of books from home.

reading books to kids
Have you heard the saying of “stealing a march on someone?” It means to gain an advantage. Kids who have had opportunities with books before they get to school “steal a march” on those who haven’t. There’s no doubt being a good reader is a tremendous advantage. Being a poor reader is a tremendous disadvantage and it can follow kids for a lifetime. So much so, that some research reports that government bases the size of prisons on the reading scores of third-graders. While this may not be accurate, it certainly underscores how difficult it can be not to read well.

In a day, we don’t have to wait until bedtime to read books. Try a wake-up story. Listen to a story in the car. Share a book while waiting in line at the bank. Waiting for the cookies to bake is just enough time to enjoy a book or two. In the bath, the book has to be an imaginary one; “Once upon a time, there was a dinosaur in the tub…”reading books to kids

Kids books are expensive, so also visit your local library and neighborhood garage sales. Reading books to kids builds brain power. How do you include them in your child’s day?

Help Get Kids Ready for Kindergarten by Reading

Series Part #8: To Help Kids Get Ready for Kindergarten Read and Share Books and Stories

One of the most powerful ways to help kids get ready for kindergarten is to read and share books and stories. Many, many books and stories.

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 thousands of books? It only takes 3 or 4 stories a day, several times a week to add up to more than a thousand in a year. That keeps piling up to be 5 or 6,000 or more, and gazillions more brain connections and learning. Here’s a picture of that astonishing math!

how reading helps kids get ready for schoolTo 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. How does reading help children with getting ready for kindergarten? As we read to kids they:

  • hear lots of words,
  • practice listening with ears and watching with eyes,
  • make pictures in their mind,
  • learn new things,
  • travel around the world, into space and beyond time,
  • and spend one-on-one time with us.

No wonder reading is so powerful as a readiness activity. Once kids get to school, it’s important to continue reading with them even when they can read themselves. For a play-of-the-day today and everyday, can you read a book or tell a story to your child?