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Toddlers Love Reading Too!

Toddlers Love Reading Too!

It’s almost the end of a year.  Well, school year that is. In just 7 days, I will wrap up a school-year long journey with my sweet third graders.  They’ve grown.  In many, many ways.  They’ve grown taller.  They’ve grown smarter and wiser and they’ve grown in their reading--many of them by leaps and bounds.  It is so satisfying to watch and hear their growth in reading.  Makes my heart happy.  I venture to say that much of their growth has come from reading and reading and reading...a lot. 

And I remember during the year that I told many parents at parent teacher conferences:  “Don’t stop reading with your child.”   I told them that they are the best model for building expression, rate, and fluency.  Wait.  What?  These kids are 8 years old – some of them 9 years old.  They don’t need someone reading to them.  Oh – yes, they do.  Yes, they do.

Reading fluency begins at a very early age.  My husband and I read to our girls every night.  I can even remember reading Goodnight Moon and reaching the part in the story where the bunny is saying goodnight to everything in the room.  He reaches the part where he says, “And the quiet, old lady was whispering – hush.”  We had read that story so many times that our girls would always finish that line by saying, “hush.”  It was so cute! It was profound! They were only toddlers on our lap and yet fully aware of when that line was coming.  Every time they would finish it.  They were reading!

I found a great site that talks about the benefits of reading to your toddler.  I love what the writer has to say, because every single point is spot on.  I can tell you from a teacher’s perspective that the kids who have been read to and who read are ahead of the curve in spelling, language, and comprehension.  Their mental schema – the files in their brain – is more vast simply because they have been exposed to more things.  More pictures – more words – more language -  more scenarios – just more and it builds their little computer files.  Reading has a profound way of doing just that.  Expanding the base of knowledge.  And believe me – that’s a good, good thing.

Enjoy reading the site about 7 Benefits of Reading to Your Toddler


Until next time, some food for thought:

"The fluent reader sounds good, is easy to listen to, and reads with enough expression to help the listener understand the joy the material."


--Charles Clark, "Building Fluency: Do it Right and Do it well!" (1999)

Introducing a new Blogger on Reading!

Introducing a new Blogger on Reading!

“In the great, green room - there was a telephone and a red balloon; And a picture of the cow jumping over the moon.”  ~  Goodnight Moon

It has been well over 15 years or more since I have read those words to a little one sitting on my lap.  But, as if it were only yesterday, the words come clearly to my mind.  It seems like a perfect picture of how powerful words are, or, to be more exact, how powerful reading is.

Hello friends!  I’m Nicole Chaplain. Married 25 years to my high school sweetheart.  Mom of two, lovely daughters, one a college junior and one a high school junior.  Both the center of my heart.  A Third grade teacher who adores all things learning.  Cheer coach.  Regular church attendee.  Lover of exercise, healthy food, adventures with family, and reading.  

Oh – did I mention that I love reading?  Reading allows me to escape to other places.  Reading is the building block of all intelligence.  It is the true backbone to building understanding in all areas.  Like I tell my sweet, third grade students daily: reading is the bridge to new worlds.  It really is!  And Frederick Douglas said it even better: “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”  I invite you to begin a new journey into the world of sharing all about Literacy and Reading.  

It is my joy to meet you.  And it will be my joy to share all good things about the love of Literacy and Reading.  For me, it sure is a big one!

Until next time, some food for thought ~

“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world.
Love of books is the best of all.”  ~ Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

When to Start Reading

When to Start Reading

   Even before I was pregnant, I knew that reading to my future child was as important to successful parenting as assuring that he or she ate a variety of healthy foods. But when exactly was I supposed to start reading? Was there a right way to do it? Was there really a benefit to reading to my unborn child, or was this just some “new agey” idea?

    I found out I was pregnant in January of 2009, and very soon after, my unborn child began listening to the Harry Potter series. I had never read the books (or seen the movies because apparently I was residing under a rock for the better part of the 2000s), but my husband was a huge fan. He was also facing a potential military deployment and was worried about missing the birth and first few months of bonding with our child. He thought that by reading to my belly, Baby Squirt would recognize his voice and they would have a connection. It felt silly at first, crawling into bed at the end of the day and having my stomach be the primary audience to the tale of the boy who lived under the stairs. However, it became one of the most relaxing parts of my day, and is one of the memories I share regularly with my son when we cuddle up at night to read a good story now.

    It turns out that the hubby was right (how often do we wives actually say that?) His prenatal reading may have helped increase his parental feelings/bond and also allowed us to begin a reading habit. Mamta Patel, PhD. writes that by the seventh month of pregnancy, a "baby can hear and respond to familiar voices." In addition, many studies have shown engaging kids with books from day one gives those kids a leg up for later learning; listening to stories exposes them to more words and word sounds, thus improving their vocabulary and communication skills well before starting school. Books also help children learn about themes and concepts they might not otherwise encounter.

    If your family already has a reading habit, keep up the great work! Your child is well on the path to becoming a successful reader and reaping all the benefits that come with that title. But have no fear if you’ve been too busy changing diapers and prepping bottles to tackle this task. I encourage you to find a few minutes today, pick up a favorite book or magazine, and begin reading with your little one. Stayed tuned to storieChild, because in the coming weeks we will be talking more about what to read and how to make the experience even more fun and effective.

    When did you start reading to your kids? Any tips? I would love to hear your thoughts at kara@storiechild.com.