The Best Start For Your Baby
Some Basic Facts About Reading To Children
In 1945, research showed that the average elementary student had a vocabulary of over 10,000 words. Today’s children in this same age group have an average of only about 2500 words.
Studies have shown that if a child knows eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they are four years old, they are usually amongst the best readers by the time they are eight years old.
Research also shows that kids will learn more in their first eight years than they do in the rest of their lives.
Studies show that children who are read to from the time they are born have a larger vocabulary and better reading skills before even beginning school than those children who are not read to from infancy.
These are some pretty amazing studies with regards to giving our children a head start in this world. Reading to them has huge impacts in their development.
Why Such A Difference In Skill Levels For Today's Children?
One of the primary reasons that today’s children do not have the level of vocabulary in elementary school as generations before them is that parents, for the most part, are not reading to them on a consistent basis.
Previous generations did not have the same technologies in their everyday life that today’s parents do. Televisions were not on nearly every waking hour that someone was in the house. Video games were not used as electronic babysitters to keep children occupied.
Rather, those generations read to their children. They shared nursery rhymes and silly songs with their little ones at a considerably higher rate than today’s parents.
Overall, we do not take the time to read to our children on a daily basis. We don’t share or hand down those favorite stories we were told as kids. We don’t teach them something as simple as a nursery rhyme verse.
Nursery Rhymes And Your Child's Development
Children love nursery rhymes. They love the iterative sounds, the rhyming words, the natural rhythm that is created when they speak them out loud.
Sharing children’s verses with them enhances their imaginations. It allows them to create those images in their heads of what is happening in the rhyme. It triggers creativity, imagination, story telling and so much more.
Children who learn nursery rhymes before beginning any sort of traditonal schooling come to understand the basic sounds of words. They figure out that their mouths, tongues, even their teeth do different things when forming those sounds. They learn to connect the dots between the sounds of oral language to the letters that represent those sounds.
Our English language is complex. Teaching our children these oral language skills through nursery rhymes pre-kindergarten gives them a critical skill that has shown to help them attain a high level of reading and spelling achievements.
How Parents Can Impact Their Childs' Language Skills
Take a few minutes at naptime, bedtime, or any other opportunity to teach them a nursery rhyme.
Just know that each one they learn, while it may drive you crazy as they sing it constantly, is a huge step forward to creating a strong mind, strong reader, avid student and an incredible little human being.
Now we know there are days when you think if I hear Row, Row, Row Your Boat one more time, my head is going to pop off. But the fact is that the repetition of nursery rhymes has a tremendous impact on your little one’s language, reading, literacy, comprehension skills and vocabulary.
We all want our children to grow, develop and succeed on their education. The great thing is we can have a huge impact on their development with something as simple as sharing and teaching nursery rhymes.
Next week we’ll discuss more ways nursery rhymes benefit your child.
Enjoy the article? Share it with your friends!