• Study Shows What Your Child's Reading Brain is Like

    If story time isn’t part of your child’s bedtime routine, maybe this will convince you
  • Baby looking at a picture book

    Photo Source: Aaron Muderick/Flickr

    “The most important thing that parents can do is talk and read to their children,” said Dr. D. Reid Lyon of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Recent research backs this statement up.

    A study has found that children who were regularly read to by their parents had greater brain activity compared to children who weren’t. Specifically, the left side of their brains, responsible for word comprehension, language and visual imagers, saw more activity.

    Researchers looked at MRI scans of children 3 to 5 while they listened to prerecorded stories and a variety of sounds. Their parents were asked questions like how often they read to their children, if they had books around the house that were easily accessible to their children, etc.

    Results showed that the more literacy-friendly the home, the greater neuron activity in the child. The parts of the brain where words were matched to meanings and combined with visual imagery saw the most activity.

    “It’s too early to tell if that means kids who are read to at home will have higher IQs, but we can say that being read to engages parts of the brain that contribute to reading comprehension down the road,” Dr. Tzipi Horowitz-Kraus, study coauthor and program director of the Reading and Literacy Discovery Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, told Yahoo Parenting.

    “The more you read to your child the more you help the neurons in this region to grow and connect in a way that will benefit the child in the future in reading,” she told CNN. The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents start reading out loud to their children as early as infancy.

    In a SmartParenting.com.ph article, it was recommended that the following types of books are best for your child:

    Classic and award-winning children’s books are nice to have in any home library

    • Books that feature TV or app characters should be avoided as these are usually just marketing materials and do not have much literary value.

    • Books according to your child’s current interests are a must-have

    • Books must also come from different genres, depending on your child’s age: picture books, folktales, fairy tales, fables, historical fiction, fantasy, biography

    • Books to supplement what he is studying in school would be helpful

    • Fun reference materials such as visual dictionaries, illustrated encyclopedias, and internet-linked history books are also good to have.

    The most important thing is that you buy and keep books that your kids enjoy. Creating your own standard makes it easier to buy and let go of books.

    Sources:
    Aug. 5, 2015. "This is your child's brain on reading". cnn.com
    Aug. 7, 2015. "Doing This With Your Kids Will Boost Their Brainpower". yahoo.com

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