Monday, August 12, 2019

Reading to Your Child

If you read five books a day to your child, they will enter kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than other children.

Even reading one book a day, your child will hear about 290,000 more words by age five than others.

Kids who hear more vocabulary words are better prepared to see those words in print when they enter school.

Important: The words children hear in books are going to be more complex, more difficult than ones they hear just talking around home.

For instance, a children's book about astronauts exploring Mars will introduce words and concepts that are unlikely to come up in everyday conversation.

Preschoolers who hear rich explanations of sophisticated words learn significantly more words than children who do not. Studies show compelling evidence for the benefits of teaching sophisticated vocabulary to children in preschool through first grade.

Children who acquire a substantial vocabulary are often able to think more deeply, express themselves better, and learn new things more quickly. They are also very likely to be successful not only learning to read, but also in reading at or above grade level throughout their school years.

We know now that if we boost children's language and literacy experiences early in life, later difficulties can be reduced or avoided.

Children pay attention to, and are interested in, the way adults use words to express precise feelings and reactions.

Find books that contain complex words, and your child will gradually pick up on their meanings and prosper in their future educational endeavors.


[1] Ohio State University. "A 'million word gap' for children who aren't read to at home: That's how many fewer words some may hear by kindergarten." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 April 2019.

[2] Spotlight on Young Children: Exploring Language and Literacy, edited by A. Shillady. Copyright © 2014 by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

[3] Scholastic Books; "For the Love of Words: Help your child build a rich vocabulary, and in turn, strong reading and writing skills." Susan Canizares; PhD in language and literacy development.

Mickey Kulp writes and illustrates the The Rocket Team series of children’s picture books. He crafted each book to be fun and educational, and they help introduce a rich, new vocabulary to make your child smarter.

Rocket Team books are available from a number of international outlets including