Creating *Life-time* Readers

MaiStoryBook objective: create *life-time* readers.

Did you know: The single most important activity for building knowledge for reading success is *reading aloud to children.* In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Education Commission on Reading, reading aloud is a practice that should be continued throughout ALL grades. That’s right — story time in high school just became a thing. *well actually, it should’ve already been a thing.* But I digress.

The brain’s first exposure to vocabulary and words: the ears. Yes, conversation with your child is beneficial *Warning: beware baby talk— no new vocabulary will spring from that* but reading aloud goes beyond conversation. (!Bonus fact – A good children’s book is 3x richer in vocabulary than conversation- woah! In fact, the average adult uses a common-word vocabulary of only about 10,000 words. Words found in more complicated ideas and print are left out. How to give children access to these *rare* words? Read Aloud Books ).

Back to the story time in High School idea. So why is it helpful to read aloud to children who can already read? Wouldn’t that discourage them from reading on their own? Well first, a child’s reading level and listening level are not the same. For example, children who may be reading on a first-grade level, can listen to and comprehend stories on a 4th grade level or higher. That’s right, your 5 year old may not be able to read Harry Potter, but that doesn’t mean they should miss out on the magic and mayhem. Clear your throat, grab a blanket and a bowl of popcorn, maybe some cocoa for that sweet and salty combo, and huddle together for a read aloud journey into the magical wizarding world with your little one.

Most importantly, in order to create life-time readers, we have to develop the *want-to* aspect of reading, not just the *how-to.* How reading aloud builds the want-to muscle:

  • It conditions the child to associate reading with pleasure
  • Creates background knowledge
  • Build’s book vocabulary
  • Provides a reading role model

An Early Childhood Longitudinal Study found that kindergarten children who had been read to at least 3x a week had significantly greater phonemic awareness (word and letter sound awareness~a necessary component to reading) than children who were read to less often, and were twice as likely to score in the top 25% in reading readiness. The most essential factor: a shared reading experience~~ meaning its not just enough to set your child up next to a story time tablet app. What makes reading aloud  a successful reading development tool is the discussion with your child before and after the book, and the questions and conversation throughout the reading.

So how to do this effective shared reading? The MaiStoryBook Library collection offers video examples of guided, shared-reading read alouds, along with resources and activities to enrich you and your child’s reading experience. Check out the collection, featuring a new book every Friday. Welcome your child into the wonders and world of reading. Together, we can create a new generation of *life-time readers*

*This post sums up information that can be found in further depth in this article by Jim Release, author of the Read-Aloud Handbook*

*~Until next time, Happy reading~*

MaiStoryBook: How to Get Your Child to Fall in Love with The World of Reading

With my passions for art-making, working with children, and teaching, it’s only natural that I find children’s illustrated books to be the Best kinda books out there- I mean, a thrilling story AND pictures?? Reading doesn’t get much better than that. As a child, (honestly, as an adult now too), I was always drawn to the imaginative illustrations illuminating the storybook pages. I soaked up the clever details, delighting in whenever I discovered a new piece to the picture I never noticed before. With illustrations, I could *read* the storybook without even knowing how to read~~ words were the sidekick, the understudies ready to jump in only after my eyes and imagination had exhausted the pictures and were willing to settle for the written version. Every child deserves to soak in this world of wonder of children’s books~~ of imagined universes and captivating adventure.

But a love for reading doesn’t come naturally; reading is an accrued skill. So how to get your child to fall in love with the world of reading?

**Join me on a journey to a lifetime of reading for you and your little ones ***

I am excited to announce the launch of this new blog series: MaiStoryBook! 


The goal of MaiStoryBook is to spotlight children’s illustrated books, as well as provide resources for parents, families, and teachers to inspire in children a love for books and a curiosity for the world of reading- all through a series of MaiStoryBook collections.

 So you want your child to love to read?

The way to get children reading is to get them excited about books. Children need to develop the *want-to* muscle of reading, not just the *how-to.* The best thing to do: start them young. Read Aloud. Reading to children is not only a great source of bonding, its also a chance to teach and expose children to new vocabulary, and to use the themes in the stories to discuss real life scenarios or questions of right and wrong with them. Most importantly, reading to children encourages them to develop their own creative thinking skills and imagination.

 Head over to the About Maistorybook page for everything MaiStoryBook has to offer to welcome your child into the world of reading!

*~Until next time, Happy Reading, Friends~*