This video clip of a Grandma reading to her grandson is hilarious. Just try to watch it without laughing.
While we are in a good mood, let’s think about what is happening as this baby hears this story:
- He feels his grandma’s joy and his mirror neurons are showing him how to feel positive emotions.
- He is learning how to regulate his emotions as he listens to his Grandma calm herself to continue reading.
- He is learning that books hold much promise for entertainment and learning.
- He is learning that words can be said with emotion and expression.
- He is learning that words communicate an idea.
- He is learning that words and pictures tell a story and it is worth the time to decode those words.
- He is developing his sense of phonemic awareness as he hears the rhyming words over and over, again.
- His brain is taking statistics on the necessary sounds of language.
- His brain is identifying a pattern by hearing it repeated.
- He is learning that you turn the pages of a book to hear what comes next.
- He is developing executive function skills by redirecting his attention to the book that Grandma is enjoying.
Who knew so much learning could happen from a 4-minute story? Forget the fancy apps that “teach” phonics or sight words while ignoring the fact that children learn to read within the context of family and language learning.
Read to your child!
- Picture books until they are too old to sit in your lap. And then continue picture books while they sit beside you.
- Start the chapter books as soon as they can listen for the length of the chapter and don’t stop when they learn to read.
- Read 20-30 minutes a day. Every. Day
- Mute your phone and put it in a different room. (Then your child will know that this is important)
- Start reading Bible stories as soon as possible and later discuss those stories after your child reads them to you.
Read to your child!
Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith and illustrated by Katz Cowley