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Read to Your Children—From Books!

March 29, 2019
Plain English Version

Reading to children. Courtesy of The New York Times.

Do you read to your children? It turns out that reading is more fun for children when parents read to them from printed books.

A study looked at parents reading to toddlers. They read from a book or a device such as a smartphone or a tablet. The device could be a reader or use an interactive touch and hear format.

The study asked how often did the parent and child share the reading? How often did they talk to each other during the reading?  Back and forth exchanges took place most often when reading from books.

It did not matter whether the device made noises and whistles or if the device was just a reader. The parent and child were more engaged with each other during the reading of a real book.

Reading from a device may work when kids read by themselves. Reading and explaining what words mean or answering questions is easier with printed books.

It is a challenge. Research shows that the number of kids who read for fun is going down. Some children only see reading as part of taking tests. Instead, an expert says reading should be “a way of transporting you, opening doors. It is just a wonderful, wonderful thing.”

Research showed how parents are “role models.” Children who read have parents who read. Kids know when a parent is reading a book. Parents need to read with their kids, to their kids and enjoy watching their kids read.

Written language is not going away. It is becoming more important. The world is now a written-based community. Children will need to read and write at work. That is how they will become part of society.

Parents have a big job to do. More information about this important issue is on the website How to Raise a Reader.

Source: The New York Times March 25, 2019



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