Reading to your kids

Yesterday was my kid’s first day of first grade, which means that Monday was Unpack Your Backpack Night – a chance to meet the teacher and drop off all the school supplies so your kid doesn’t need to lug them to school.

When we arrived at the classroom, each desk had a list of instructions on it. While most parents read it to their child (or read it to themselves, then told their kid what to do), I made my son read it himself. Despite their being a lot of big words on it, he did just fine because he’s been reading all summer.

The kid has been read a bedtime story almost every night since he was a baby. He’s grown up watching his father and me read. So it’s only natural that he wants to be a reader too. Oh, and his best friend is the best reader in the class. If he gets into the top reading group, he’ll be able to spend more time with her (six years old and his motivation is already girls).

Studies have shown that reading to your kids just 15 minutes a day is beneficial for their academic progress, not just in vocabulary but in listening and comprehension (especially if you ask them questions about the story). Independent reading for as little as 30 minutes a day can help too, leading to increased general knowledge retention in addition to the benefits of being read to.

If you have kids, do you read to them? Are they readers? What books do they enjoy?

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