Lauren's “Pointers 4 Parents” column features tips, tricks, and resources for caregivers with a specific focus on children with special needs.
As an introduction to this column, let’s start with some tips for reading to or with your child(ren). An Ohio State University study suggests that children who have five books a day read to them enter kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than children who aren't read to.
Listen, I understand that life happens. There are days for every parent when there’s just no time for anything you want to do. Some days you may not get to read, other days you only have time for one or two books. The fact remains that even children who get one book read to them daily will still hear more than 300,000 more words by the age of five than those who don’t.
Many parents struggle trying to choose books for their children. This is completely normal. Please, let us help you—but I would also like to suggest a great resource from our parenting shelves, The Ramped-Up Read Aloud: What to Notice When You Turn the Page, by Maria Walther. While the text is aimed primarily at teachers, there is such a wealth of advice for parents and caregivers as well. Not only does Walther completely explain the benefits of reading aloud (to older children as well), but she also identifies wonderful stories and read-alikes with summaries to make choosing and discussing books so much easier.