Loving Reading From Birth

My daughter reads very well. Today, she was reading the rules on the game “Plants vs. Zombies” that my wife plays. She is able to read the kids menu when we go to restaurants and order her own meal. When she is supposed to be sleeping, we find her reading to her stuffed toys instead. Seeing her read so well is just incredible, and the best thing is that my daughter finds reading fun. She reads several books a day, even though she is exposed to TV, smart phones, tablets and the like. Trips to the library to check out new books is always an exciting adventure and one of her favorite things to do.

But Rob, who cares that your daughter can read? What’s in it for me?

One major benefit to having a child with a strong grasp on reading early is that it greatly benefits them in school. The American Psychological Association found that children who enter kindergarten with elementary reading skills perform better in school throughout the years. According to the Anne E. Casey Foundation, not having proficient reading skills by third grade can lead to trouble throughout all of school, including high school graduation. So what do we parents do to get our kids better at reading? One of the key differences between a strong reader and weak reader is the amount of time that they read, according to the National Reading Panel.

Where did my daughter’s ability to read come from? I’m not a literary expert, but what I can show you is a couple of methods that we personally used so that the ability to grasp reading and enjoy it was instilled since birth. Now by four, she knows that reading is awesome.

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Don’t Sanitize The Adventure

Don’t Sanitize The Adventure

Earlier today at the park, I watched as my daughter followed other children around the playground. She grabbed the same hand rails that the other kids did. They held hands and sang “ring around the rosie” a half dozen times, falling to the cracked asphalt ground each time. They pretended to be pirates and took turns turning a wheel, giving each other high fives.

After the other kids dispersed, we went for an adventure walk in the park, which is in a heavily wooded area. She grabbed some twigs and drew pictures in the dirt. She felt the new growth of green grass in her fingers. Her pants were dirty and her hands not sanitized.

During those couple of hours, did I bust out my trusty bottle of Purell? No. I don’t carry one with me. I have a spare one in the car and one in the house, in case her hands come in contact with something that is really unsanitary. So, I brushed the dirt off her pants and put her in the car. We drove to a restaurant, where we washed our hands with soap and water before we ate. No big deal.

I’m sure you’ve heard it though.

Don’t touch that. It has germs.

Don’t sit on the grass. It’s dirty.

Don’t play outside, you’ll get sick.

Don’t touch them. Don’t high five. No fists bumps. No hugs. No holding hands. Get away! RUN!

All of us want to protect our children. When they get sick, it’s just about the worst thing in the world. So we do what we can to help them.

Our biggest line of defense against the unseen enemy is usually a bottle of hand sanitizer. We use it at will to protect our kids, but are we maybe hurting them in the process?

Parents also seem to do their best to keep their kids clean, even while at play. I have heard some parents telling children not to play in grass, because grass grows in dirt. Can these aversions to dirt be hurting our kids too?

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