Thursday, October 16, 2014

E-Reading- Story Time or Simply Screen Time?

Is E-reading story time or simply screen time is an important question for parents because the ramifications are important. A recent article in the NYT suggested there is ample evidence that suggests that parents who E-Read to their child undercuts the dynamic that drives language development.

Parents emotionally engage differently with their children when they read conventional books and engagement is the operative word. Studies show that the essence of acquiring language is reading and talking about what is read. And lets not overlook the importance of the love and affection that is communicated when parents engage, when they read and talk with children.

Bonding with our children gives them the stability and assurance they need to go out into the world and thrive. This is how parents develop the strong relationships their children need that will anchor them for the rest of their lives. So yes, language acquisition is all important, but so is the love that is communicated when parents engage with children by reading and talking about what matters. The bonding that springs from that activity is priceless.

“The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” Thích Nhất Hạnh

Friday, October 10, 2014

Lets here it for the Dads!

All too often I hear the lament that Dad’s don’t read to their children and this is my opportunity to applaud the Dad in this poem. If children are to become life long readers, they need both moms and dads and everyone else to read to them when they are young.
A love of story and the closeness that is communicated when a child is read to is very likely the single most important reason why children become adults who love to read and know how to find pleasure in reading. Readers are born on the laps of their parents.

“The Story of Ferdinand the Bull" by Matt Mason

Dad would come home after too long at work

and I'd sit on his lap to hear

the story of Ferdinand the Bull; every night,

me handing him the red book until I knew

every word, couldn't read,

just recite along with drawings

of a gentle bull, frustrated matadors,

the all-important bee, and flowers—

flowers in meadows and flowers

thrown by the Spanish ladies.

Its lesson, really,

about not being what you're born into

but what you're born to be,

even if that means

not caring about the capes they wave in your face

or the spears they cut into your shoulders.

And Dad, wonderful Dad, came home

after too long at work
and read to me

the same story every night

until I knew every word, couldn't read,

just recite.