Imagine laying by the pool reading a novel on the best seller list or better yet a harlequin romance that requires no brain power. Now “SPLASH“…… that’s the sound of your child jumping into the pool and drenching you and your book.
Your reading list of those kinds of books may have been replaced by books you and your children enjoy. Reading with your children is a great way to spend time together and lay a strong foundation for their educational success. If you read just one book a night, you will have read about 365 books in a year. That is 730 books in two years and 1,095 books in three years. Find a local program/library that reinforces “1000 books before kindergarten”.
Reading on an iPad, other tablet or computer is not the same as holding a book. On average, a 3-4-year-old spends three hours a day in front of a screen. This rises to four hours for ages 5-7, 4.5 hours by ages 8-11, and 6.5 hours for teenagers. Studies have found excessive Screen time leads to: obesity; irregular sleep; behavioral/attention problems, impaired academic performance, violence and less time for play. In 2013 the US Department of Health recommended that children under two years of age should not be in front of a screen at all, and over that age the maximum leisure screen time should be no more than two hours a day.
There’s opportunities everyday, everywhere to encourage reading. Go to the library and find books that you remember from your childhood. Read materials that you have in your house (cereal boxes, mail). Point out words in the environment, at stores, when driving, etc. Find a list of repetitive and rhyming books, recommended summer reading list and other phonological awareness resources.