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Building literacy one children's book at a time…

Wow! That’s A LOT of Reading!

I have been meaning to write about children needing 1,000 hours of “lap time” before they’re ready to read so it was sort of serendipitous to see Read Aloud Dad‘s recent blog about kids (and adults) needing 10,000 hours of practice to become the best of the best at anything – including reading.

Long before our kids can start logging those 10,000 hours of practice reading, they need to learn how to read and that’s where the 1,000 hours of lap time comes in.

The National Institute for Children’s Health and Development has said that young children need 1,000 hours of lap time before they will be ready to learn to read. So what counts as lap time? Reading books aloud counts, but so does talking, singing, rhyming and chanting.

Wow.

1,000 hours is difficult for me to get my head around.

So how about we break this down into manageable chunks…

  • If you are smart enough to start while your baby is just weeks or months old, your child will be ready to read (by kindergarten) with only about 1/2 hour of lap time every day.
  • If you wait until your child is 2 years old (about 3 years before kindergarten), you will have to play catch up and invest 1 hour every day.
  • If you wait until the year before kindergarten, you’ll need about 3 (yes, that’s THREE) hours of lap time every day for that entire year! Yikes!

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that parents who haven’t invested any lap time in their child for the first four years are probably not going to invest 3 hours per day in that magical year before kindergarten. Starts to shed some light on why some kids are so unprepared to learn when they enter school.

So back to Read Aloud Dad… If a child needs 10,000 hours to become a best of the best reader, that could mean

1 hour of reading per day for 27 years

2 hours per day for 14 years

3 hours per day for 9 years

Double WOW!

I think the message here is START TODAY! Read aloud to your children no matter how old they are. And be a fabulous role model – let them see you reading books, newspapers, magazines, and online content.

You say you’re already doing this? Good for you!

Could you be doing more?

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Promoting Literacy: My Own Book

Here’s an uplifting article in the WSJ about a retired lawyer who started the My Own Book program. My Own Book volunteers take disadvantaged 3rd graders to a bookstore to purchase $50 in books each. For many of the children, this is their first visit to a bookstore. After the books are purchased, the children perform skits, read aloud, and build dioramas. Program evaluations show that 92% of the children read more at home after getting their own books. Such a great program – we need this in all cities!

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Owning Books vs. Library Card

This is such a great guest blog post by Read Aloud Dad… I really like how he points out that owning books and owning a library card are so different and don’t really overlap that much – BOTH are important!

Thanks Read Aloud Dad!

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5 Ways to Get Books on the Cheap

The research says that books in the home can be just as important as having college-educated parents when predicting the future education level of a child. I believe that every family should have a library card (and use it often!) – and that children should have their own library cards when they reach an appropriate age. However, there is something special about owning books that you can enjoy over and over and writing your name in them. So how do we get more books in our homes to ensure that our children will develop a life-long love of learning?? Here are five inexpensive ways to build a home library for your children:

  1. Gifts and “hand-me-downs” from friends and family. Hint: Suggest books the next time someone asks what your child wants/needs for his birthday.
  2. Thrift stores and consignment shops often have inexpensive books for purchase.
  3. Used bookstores. Trade your unwanted books for children’s books.
  4. Library sales, rummage sales, and garage sales.
  5. If you want NEW books, consider hosting an Usborne Books & More show (online or in person) and get FREE books as host/hostess incentives! Better yet, join Usborne and get all your books at wholesale prices or less!

If you have other ideas for building a home library, I’d love to hear them!

Disclaimer: Yes, I am an Independent Educational Consultant for Usborne Books & More. And it is so much fun! Imagine what it might be like to earn additional income and vacations for your family plus have access to fabulous books at great prices, while also helping others, promoting literacy and meeting new friends. With Usborne, you can do fundraisers, grant-matching, bookfairs, reading incentive programs, home shows, direct sales, and so much more! Have you ever considered doing something like this? Email me or click here if you’d like more information.

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Value Education? Give Your Child Books!

Here is yet another article mentioning the link between books in the home and  increased education levels and improved socio-economic mobility. This has been a hot topic since May 2010 when an international study was published that showed that books in the home are as important as parents’ education level in determining the education level a child will attain. The research results indicated that as few as 20 books can make a difference, but the magic number is 500 books to be about equivalent to university-educated parents. So let’s see here… Say each book is about $7 on average x 500 books = $3,500. That is much less expensive than the university education I received! Not meaning to be flip here, but seriously… How can we get books in more homes and to the kids that really need them? Please share your ideas… I have some of my own that I’ll share in future posts. 🙂

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So… How do you start a blog??

D’oh! I have been a little slow at getting this blog going. And I know there are millions of you out there on the edge of your seats waiting to see what I’ll type next. Sorry about that. You can stop holding your breath now. Breathe. Fresh air is good for you.

Excuse #1: I am a busy mom who works full time and is starting a part-time children’s book business. Oh yeah, I also volunteer on a non-profit board and a city/county commission a little here and there (although not as much as I’d like).

Excuse #2: I have a ton of ideas, but it’s taking me a little longer to actually gather my thoughts and write about each of them. Yes, I’m a blogging newbie or is that a newbie blogger – see, I don’t even know what to call myself. Doubly sorry about that!

So… anyhoo… I am committing to blogging 1-2 times per week for the next 3 months and we’ll see how it goes from there. I am busy and hopefully you’re busy too. This blog is dedicated to busy parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, caregivers, friends of kids, and anyone else who cares about children. I intend for most posts to be quick and easy reads for busy people.

Stay tuned for reasons to read aloud to the children in your life, how-tos, ways to make reading aloud more fun for everyone involved, book reviews and more!

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Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my Kids Treasure Books blog!

I’ve never blogged in my life so hopefully I won’t make too much of a bumbling fool of myself!

So why blog now? Well…

My friend Martha and I recently became Independent Consultants with Usborne Books & More and over the past few months (through the training provided by Usborne) I’ve learned a ton about children’s books, reading aloud, and how to help foster a lifelong love of learning. I am the mother of a two year-old and I want my daughter to love reading and learning as much as her mom and dad, but I’ve realized that there are plenty of things we can be doing better as parents.

So… I feel the need to share what I’ve learned (so far) so that others might also benefit. And I hope to continue learning and sharing through this blog and I hope you will join me. Please share your tips too!

We should all care about the education and literacy of our children/grandchildren/nieces/nephews and our neighbors’ children – truly they are our future!

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