Statistics show literacy is one of the most significant factors influencing a child's educational success. According to the Children's Reading Foundation, students who read just 20 minutes a day will read 3,600 minutes per school year and 1,800,000 words per year. As a result, they will likely score better than 90% on standardized tests.
If you're thinking, "wow, that's a lot of words," you'd be right. But when you boil it down, 20 minutes every day is a small investment for the amazing dividend of your child's ongoing educational success.
But that doesn't change the fact that life moves quickly and choosing the best time, and the right books, to read as a family is harder than it seems. After all, there are only so many hours in a day - finding time to read together can be tough, let alone identifying what books are best for your child.
"The best books for children are books written with a purpose," said Puppy Dogs and Ice Cream publisher Jason Kutasi. "When parents choose meaningful and educational stories it allows a child to grow into the best version of themselves."
It's great if your child is reading 1.8 million words a year, but those words can hold a lot of power and influence over a young mind, so choosing them carefully is paramount. When parents find books that have the capacity to inspire educational advancement and valuable life lessons all in one, it can change their child's world.
"I always recommend parents put books in front of their children that are age-appropriate and educational at the same time," Kutasi said. "A fun read is amazing for a child, but sharing life lessons is even more important to helping tiny humans grow up to be amazing adults."
Finding stories that are interesting is also key to a child's reading success, as those who are invested in the books they read will look forward to their time spent inside the pages of a book. Through some trial and error, you'll be able to narrow down what books your child enjoys and discover patterns in the stories they love.
Maybe they enjoy action or adventure stories, or gravitate toward books with beautiful illustrations they can stare at for hours. Or maybe your more self-directed reader only likes the books he or she picks out independently. If that's the case, give them the freedom to outline their own story preferences - it's far better than arguing over storytime because they've decided not to like anything on their bookshelf!
While the idea of picking books that boost a child's education and simultaneously instill the morals parents wish to impart sounds great, it is sometimes easier said than done. Who has time to go book shopping multiple times a week (or a day, if your child is feeling particularly motivated to read)? Fortunately, you're not consigned to going at this book search alone; there are plenty of resources available to you as you look for stories that will enrich your child's mind and encourage a lifelong love of reading.
It helps to have a go-to source you can depend on to find the perfect books for their children without having to take the time out of a busy day to weed through the numerous options available.
"Our company, and a lot of publishers and booksellers, build custom lists for children based on age group, subject, and more," said Kutasi. "Search out those kinds of resources. It makes it easy for parents by grouping their literature categories in ways that are fitting for the child's mental and emotional development."
Parents can quickly find what they are looking for based on age, category, holidays and other areas, saving time for the busy mother. A little time saved here and there goes a long way when balancing a career and family.
"I always like to say that spending time with your kids reading and engaging with lessons through literature shouldn't be negotiable," said Kutasi. "While that's easier said than done, there are resources to make it so that you come home from work excited about sitting down with your child and a good book - one that speaks to you both."
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