Written by Gabrielle Murray
Children flourish when books are part of the picture — but what exactly makes them the key to a well-rounded kid?
Here’s what we’ve learned about the science behind the neurological magic.
The #1 indicator of your child’s success: Books at home.
The presence of books at home has a greater influence on a child’s future education level than does your nationality, income, or your own level of education (University of Nevada-Reno, 2018).
“The relationship is strong, clear, and statistically significant in every one of the 42 nations [we studied],” says sociologist Mariah Evans, lead researcher for the 20-year study.
Having as few as 20 books at home has been shown to impact a child’s literacy for the better — but the real magic happens when your home library includes at least 80 books (Australian National University).
Picture books are made for your child’s developing brain.
Picture this: While screens are overwhelming and audiobooks fail to hold a young child’s focus, picture books are the perfect porridge in what researchers call the “Goldilocks Zone” of stimuli (Pediatric Academic Societies, 2018).
Books allow children to progress at their own pace, taking in information as they’re ready. Biologically, interacting with a book actually rewires a child’s brain through the creation of white matter, the brain tissue that carries signals between areas of grey matter where information is processed.
As a direct result, children’s brains forge more numerous and substantial neural pathways leading to improved concentration, memory, reading and aural skills, and more (Carnegie Mellon, 2017).
To put it another way: success in reading begets success in just about every other pursuit.
Stories make us better people.
Cognitive scientist Keith Oatley says books are “life simulators”: They allow us to see ourselves in someone else, experiencing their emotions along with them in a sort of situational test-drive.
Using books as vehicles, parents can seamlessly encourage curiosity and compassion for others, values that will serve children for the rest of their lives.
Parents who read with their children see tangible results.
Children whose parents make books a seamless part of their home life are more likely to choose books as an activity even before they begin reading independently, and are shown to have significantly larger vocabularies than their peers.
A child needs to hear a new word 4-12 times before it’s added to their vocabulary, making home libraries and repeated readings an invaluable asset (PAS, 2018).
By kindergarten, children with broader vocabularies are ahead of their peers in almost every way (Columbia University, 2016).
Bolstered by this data, book subscription services for children are making it easier for parents to create a home environment that supports consistent reading habits. Literati, a book club for children birth through age nine, works with early childhood professionals to connect children with the best books on the market.
Trawling online lists or wandering the stacks at the bookstore quickly becomes a time-consuming task for the discerning parent.
In an effort to connect families with great books without the stress, Literati sends five age-appropriate books each month. Members have seven days to read the books, then purchase only the ones they love. The unique try-before-you-buy model keeps parents in charge, and returns are a breeze using the included prepaid shipping label.
Build your home library and set your young bibliophile up for success! Use offer code FLOURISH at checkout and get your first month’s membership free.