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Just Read!

September 29, 2018

Just Read!

I am often asked by parents what they can do to support their children’s language growth at home, and my response is to read with them! This seems too simple, but it really does play a vital role in language development.

There are multiple studies that show reading together helps children lay the groundwork for academic success, oral and written language skills, and even employment later on. Books introduce new vocabulary and grammatical forms that we do not necessarily use in everyday conversation with our children. What’s incredible is that children learn about 3,000 new words each year, which equals about 8 new words every single day! While some are introduced through direct teaching at school, the rest are learned through conversation and exposure in books. Have you ever noticed your children stopping you while listening to a story and asking what the word means? That is a perfect example!

Sure, there may be some books that are more language-rich than others, but it is most important to have fun while reading. We want children to develop a love for books and reading because they will learn much more if they are motivated to read. While reading books with your children, talk about the pictures on each page and ask open-ended questions, such as “what do you think will happen next?" This will elicit more language than asking questions that prompt a yes/no response, such as “do you see a dog?” and help build their skills even further. We include a book with each of our themed gift sets so that children can have hands-on learning experiences that are similar to what they have read in the story. This helps them to make the words and concepts meaningful, and therefore better remembered. We know that children should have less screen time and the benefits of reading further reinforce the importance of this. What are some of your favorite children’s books?

Until next time,

Katie Whitman, M.A., CCC-SLP
Founder + Director, Lola & Lark
Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist

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