Saturday, February 20, 2016

Bilingual toddlers show greater skills in mental control.

Read to Grow, an organization dedicated to building literacy from birth, makes findings available from Science Daily. It’s estimated that half of the world’s population speaks two or more languages. The unique feature of the study was the finding that the more language switching toddlers engaged in, the more it benefitted the problem-solving skills of toddlers.

The results of a study recently published by the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology show that bilingual children are better than monolinguals at a certain type of mental control, and that those children with more practice switching between languages have even greater skills. The unique feature of the study was the finding that the more language switching toddlers engaged in, the more it benefitted them.
For full article click here

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The importance of a significant other when it comes to children and reading.

The writer, Graham Greene said books are at their most powerful in childhood—when our minds are most open and innocent; when our imaginations are most alive. Nothing short of another living, loving human being can equal a book in its power to simultaneously move, influence, change, heal, excite, educate, and inspire. BUT initially books are not enough. In the beginning there must be a bonding agent, a parent, relative, teacher or librarian, someone who attaches book to reader.

No one is born wanting to read. Children become readers on the laps of their parents. The desire must be planted by someone outside the child, what psychologists call the ‘significant other.’  The love for reading comes to life inside a reading relationship with a significant other— this is how children become lifelong readers. Children might forget the details of the stories they hear but they will never forget the love and closeness they felt while being read to.

Although there are 10 times as many children’s books being published today than a decade ago, hundreds of children’s bookstores and library usage has librarians smiling, none of it will add up to much without that significant other.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Reading grows curiosity

Children come into the world breathing out question marks but only some retain the habits of exploring, learning, and discovering, as they grow older. Those who do so tend to be smarter, more creative, and more successful. So why are many of us allowing our curiosity to wane?

A partial answer lies in how the Internet, while providing easy access to information actually hurts the growth of curiosity. True curiosity is the sustained quest for understanding and begets insight and innovation, which is actually at risk in a wired world.

Reading nurtures a child’s curiosity. Curiosity is our greatest search engine and research has shown that curiosity is correlated with creativity, intelligence, improved learning and memory, and problem solving.

Reading feed curiosity—the quest to know and understand. Curiosity is the human capacity to be deeply fascinated. The most productive mind is the one most open to indulging the impulse to daydream, to ponder, and to let your imagination take hold.  Reading feeds the appetite for new ideas, beckoning readers to wander with a keen alertness.

Learning happens when curiosity is ignited. Maybe a book’s most important attribute is the degree it encourages curiosity—to know more, to understand more, to feel more.
Curiosity is how we acquire knowledge and it reminds us we are alive.

Curiosity isn’t a gift that keeps on giving. It is a mental muscle that atrophies without regular exercise and a habit that parents, schools and workplaces need to nurture.

“I have no special talents,” said Albert Einstein. “I am only passionately curious.”