by Sophia Toprac
An article recently published by the New York Times that discusses recent studies that reveal the benefits of reading aloud to your child. The article points to studies done across the nation that found that the three main traits that all the most voracious young readers seems to share are restricted online access, time for independent reading in school, and parents who regularly read aloud to them.
Only a couple years ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced that it would begin recommending that every parent read to their child starting at birth. The first three years of a baby’s life are crucial in terms of brain development, and reading aloud to your baby will increase their vocabulary and improve their language and cognitive skills. (Plus, it can be a nice break from baby-talk for the parents.)
However, parents should not stop there. Reading aloud to your child is equally important throughout elementary school, as it creates a positive association with books that will stick with your child for the rest of their life. One of the studies discussed in the article found a strong link between children who read more heavily and children whose parents read aloud to them throughout elementary school. And children who fall behind on reading in the first couple years of elementary school have to struggle to achieve even average levels of reading skill.
This is especially dangerous for lower-income children, who hear an average of 30 million words fewer than their more well-off counterparts by age 4, and can identify 30% less of the letter names.