The Extraordinary Power of Families and Picture Books

Read to Child 9 8 2014

“A happy family is but an earlier heaven.” ― George Bernard Shaw

Becoming literate is one of the most important journeys a child will ever undertake. And it is such a wonderful sight to see books, and other literary materials sprawled out on the floor as they overtake a child’s home. Clearly, in families where there is a wealth of picture books and other literature, these things can more easily help with the child’s transition to school.

Families that demonstrate and support young children’s literacy with books and other printed materials affect emotions and motivation (Braugner & Lewis 1998). As a result, these children have a head start on reading comprehension and literacy skills when they enter school.

Research has also shown that children exposed to enriched environments can develop positive effects on their neural pathways in the brain (Diamond & Hopson 1998). So when you read interesting books the child can understand, story time becomes much more engaging, fun, and motivational.
Further, documentation shows us that home activities which includes; talking about school matters with the child, organizing the child’s time, assisting with their homework, and reading along with young children positively correlated with optimal school performance (Finn 1998).

In another study, preschool children in families that supported home literacy activities have logged between 1,000 to 1,700 hours of reading and writing events before entering school. Compare this to children without family literacy support who only achieved 25 hours of reading and writing events (Adams 1990).

Research by (Becher 1985) shows that reading aloud to children creates a major influence on their vocabulary development.

Finally, it has been documented that “print-rich” environments including; picture books, paper, and writing tools where children had easy access to, provided the most favorable outcomes for literacy learning (Matthias & Gulley 1995, Morrow 1995, Mulhern 1997, Neuman & Roskos 1998). Also “print-rich” can be picture books borrowed at your local library and even some crayons and paper!

So celebrate the family institution and how important it really is in getting children off the ground in developing superior literacy skills.

Related Posts

Reading to Preschool Children – One of the Most Important Steps Parents Can Do (July 1, 2014)

Harness the Power of Picture Books (July 22, 2014)

Benefits of Reading to Children (Part 1) – 6 Strengthening Attributes (July 8, 2014)

Benefits of Reading to Children (Part 2) – 5 Attributes to Building Integrity (July 10, 2014)

8 Ways Picture Books Meet Young Children’s Needs – Part 1 (July 29, 2014)

~ Robert Scott Thayer