We talk a lot about how important it is to develop a love of reading in your child from an early age. It builds reasoning and critical thinking skills, increases their chance for academic success, creates a hunger for learning and knowledge and expands their imagination. Reading time with your child is vital to creating this love. What many parents wonder, however, is just how this process works. A new study helps to outline just how reading at an early age expands the mind and intellect.
The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and was presented at a recent meeting of the Pediatric Academic Sciences. It involved 19 preschool-age children, almost 40 percent of whom were low-income, and examined how they interact with their parents. In the study, parents completed a survey which looked at their child-rearing habits and at what point children learned counting, how often parents and children talked and their reading time.
Following the questionnaire, the children listened to stories with brain scanning devices attached so that scientists could study the effect of early reading at home as it relates with the understanding of language and how the brain processes visual imagery and meaning.
The study found that reading with kids activates specific areas of the brain which boost critical early learning skills. It further solidified existing evidence that reading time between parents and children had a direct association with brain areas involving language comprehension and visual imagery.
Reading comprehension skills involve the way the child learns syntax and builds their vocabulary. In addition, the study found that reading time improves the bond between parent and child. This study is the first one to actually increase the understanding of just how the brain fires during reading.
What is important about this study is not just that it confirms existing knowledge, but that it was the first time fMRI brain scans were used in this age of subjects. It is also the first time such an approach was applied to home reading environments for the purpose of examining how the brain supports emerging literacy skills.
This research will pave the way for studies involving development of early literacy skills in the future. The hope is that through studies like this, parents will be able to receive solid guidelines on how to approach reading time with their children. Developing a set of best practices will help maximize the effect of the time spent between parents and children while reading together.
One approach to reading that is helpful is the use of interactive eBooks, which engage the child visually and provide activities that complement the words on the page and the sound of the voice. If you are interested in exploring interactive eBooks with animation and direct engagement, our services may be for you. Take some time to look over our site, and get started with a story like From Root to Flower today!