Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Reading Aloud and Brain Development

Anyone who is familiar with Beautiful Feet Books knows that we're huge advocates of reading aloud. Reading aloud at all ages is something we believe in strongly and know from our own experiences that reading aloud can have profound effects on children and their families. When the decision is made to commit to reading aloud as a family, some almost magical things happen. New research from Pediatrics confirms that reading aloud to young children is key to developing their ability to tell stories, to use words, to imagine scenarios and much more! You have all probably experienced this as you make the decision to turn to books instead of screens, as your children fall in love with the characters of classic children's stories, and as you look forward each day to the time when you all snuggle up on the couch to read.

As you embark on this new school year, keep in mind that some of the best learning occurs when you're simply reading aloud. "The researchers found differences in brain activation according to how much the children had been read to at home." As the study found:

Children whose parents reported more reading at home and more books in the home showed significantly greater activation of brain areas in a region of the left hemisphere called the parietal-temporal-occipital association cortex. This brain area is “a watershed region, all about multisensory integration, integrating sound and then visual stimulation,” said the lead author, Dr. John S. Hutton, a clinical research fellow at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Interestingly this very area of the brain is very active when older children are reading to themselves, leading researchers to believe that the early and frequent exposure to reading aloud leads to easier and more developed reading ability later.

So, plan in reading aloud time. It's easy when you choose literature based curriculums! And make sure your children have easy access to beautiful well-written books. Frequent trips to the library, thoughtful purchases for the family library–these are all investments in your children. Of course, reading Going on a Bear Hunt fifteen times before noon can be the epitome of mundane but what you're doing is so important! For more, check out this article on the study.

While intellectual ability is obviously important, we're also going to be talking about reading and emotional development later this week, so stay tuned!

Our new 2015-2016 catalog is now available! If you want to view it right now it's available online here. And if you would like to request a hardcopy, click here.

We would love to hear what you think! Chime in below in the comments section and share your thoughts. Don't forget to check out our Facebook and Pinterest pages.  To learn more about Beautiful Feet Books, click here.

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  1. Your books and guides have been such an answer to prayer for our family. I shuffled through so much curriculum to find yours. The reading of great literature as part of our history revives us all. We love, love reading aloud. It's our favorite. What a blessing beautiful feet books is to families looking to keep with a literature approach education.

    1. Thank you Leggio! Stories like yours are so encouraging to us! Have a wonderful school year.