The 26 Major Advantages to Reading More Books and Why 3 …

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The 26 Major Advantages to Reading More Books and Why 3 in 4 People Are Being Shut Out of Success

by Brad Isaac on December 5, 2007

I read a Associated Press-Ipsos poll revealing that 1 in 4 adults read no books last year. Yes, that’s 25% of the adults out there are reading zero books. This is sad.

I knew intuitively the number of books read each year had gone down but to zero? Ridiculous!

And what about the adults who are reading more than zero books a year. How many are they reading in all? One? Five? Actually, the same poll reveals the average adult reads only four books per year. Half of those people read less than four.

If you are one of the non-book readers who feels you “don’t need no stinking books”, here are 26 great reasons to start the habit…before you are left behind!

1. Reading is an active mental process – Unlike TV, books make you to use your brain. By reading, you think more and become smarter.

2. It is a fundamental skill builder - Every good course on the planet has a matching book to go with it. Why? Because books help clarify difficult subjects. Books provide information that goes deeper than just classroom discussion.

3. Improves your vocabulary – Remember in elementary school when you learned how to infer the meaning of one word by reading the context of the other words in the sentence? You get the same benefit from book reading. While reading books, especially challenging ones, you will find yourself exposed to many new words you wouldn’t be otherwise.

4. Gives you a glimpse into other cultures and places – What is your favorite vacation spot? I would bet you read a lot about that destination. The more information the better. Books can expand your horizons by letting you see what other cities and countries have to offer before you visit them.

5. Improves concentration and focus – Like I pointed out before, reading books takes brain power. It requires you to focus on what you are reading for long periods. Unlike magazines, Internet posts or e-Mails that might contain small chunks of information. Books tell the whole story. Since you must concentrate in order to read, like a muscle, you will get better at concentration.

6. Builds self-esteem – By reading more books, you become better informed and more of an expert on the topics you read about. This expertise translates into higher self esteem. Since you are so well read, people look to you for answers. Your feelings about yourself can only get better.

7. Improves memory – Many studies show if you don’t use your memory, you lose it. Crossword puzzles are an example of a word game that staves off Alzheimer’s. Reading, although not a game, helps you stretch your memory muscles in a similar way. Reading requires remembering details, facts and figures and in literature, plot lines, themes and characters.

8. Improves your discipline – Obviously, if 1 in 4 people don’t read one book per year, then there is a discipline issue. There may be many causes for people not reading books such as the “quips” of information you can get on the Internet. TV is also a major distracter. Making time to read is something we all know we should do, but who schedules book reading time every day? Very few… That’s why adding book reading to your daily schedule and sticking to it, improves discipline.

9. Learn anywhere – Books are portable. You can take them almost anywhere. As such, you can learn almost anywhere too.

10. Improves creativity – by reading more books and exposing yourself to new and more complete information, you will also be able to come up with more creative ideas. As a personal example, I read many, many books on IT Networking. So often, when IT Admins are stumped with a problem, I can come up with a creative (smack your head simple) solution that isn’t written anywhere. But the reason I can do that is because I have read so many books on the subject, I can combine lessons from all of them into new solutions.

11. Gives you something to talk about – Have you ever run out of stuff to talk about with your best friend, wife or husband? This can be uncomfortable. It might even make married couples wonder if their marriage is in trouble. However, if you read a lot of books, you’ll always have something to talk about. You can discuss various plots in the novels you read, you can discuss the stuff you are learning in the business books you are reading as well. The possibilities of sharing are endless.

12. Books are inexpensive entertainment – What’s the average price of a movie ticket these days? $8 – $10? You can buy a paperback for that price and be entertained for many hours more. If you have a used bookstore nearby, you can get them even cheaper.

Tip: Once you make reading a habit, you’ll enjoy reading the books in your chosen career as well.

13. You can learn at your own pace – Where formal education requires time commitments, books have no late-bells or hourly commitments. So you can learn at your own pace when you read books.

14. New mental associations – I touched on this above. As you read more books the depth and breadth of your knowledge expands and your ability to form new associations increases. In reading a book to discover the solution to one problem, you find the solution to others you may not have considered.

15. Improves your reasoning skills – Books for professionals contain arguments for or against the actions within. A book on cooking argues that Chili powder goes well with beef and goes poorly with ice-cream. A book on building a business argues that testing an idea for profitability before setting up is a smart strategy and argues against just barreling forward with the idea without testing.

You too will be able to reason better with the knowledge you gain. Some of the arguments will rub off on you. Others you will argue against. Regardless, you’ll be reasoning better.

16. Builds your expertise – Brian Tracy has said one way to become an expert in your chosen field is to read 100 books on the subject. He also said by continuing the same for 5 years you’ll become an international expert. With the Internet and blogs, you could hone that time down to 2-3 years if you follow through.

17. Saves money – Apart from saving money on entertainment expenses. Reading books that help you develop your skills saves money. Reading books on how someone went bankrupt will be a warning to you against repeating their mistakes. Reading a book on how to build your own backyard deck saves the expense of hiring a contractor.

18. Decreases mistakes – Although I would never suggest putting off an important goal because you fear making mistakes, it is still important to sharpen the saw (link to A.L. post). When you gather the deep and wide wisdom that books can provide, you are less apt to make mistakes.

19. You’ll discover surprises - As you read more books as a source of information, you’ll learn stuff you weren’t looking for. I’ve read many great quotes on life and love by reading books on marketing. I’ve learned facts about biology from reading about chemistry. Heck, I’ve picked up some facts about history while reading about programming. Since so many subjects intertwine it’s almost impossible not to learn something other than the book’s subject.

20. Decreased boredom – One of the rules I have is if I am feeling bored, I will pick up a book and start reading. What I’ve found by sticking to this is that I become interested in the book’s subject and stop being bored. I mean, if you’re bored anyway, you might as well be reading a good book, right?

21. Can change your life – How many times have you heard of a book changing someone’s life? For me, it was Your Erroneous Zones (link) by Wayne Dyer – which is the first self-development book I read. It opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking that was not depressing and dull. It was the first step in my path of choosing my own life and being free of old habitual thought patterns.

22. Can help break a slump – Being in a slump is uncomfortable. If you are a writer, you call it writer’s block. If you are a salesperson, it’s called – not making a sale in 23 days. But a slump can be a crossroads. It might be you are wavering on your commitment to a particular project or (with marriage) person. Or a slump can be simply a lack of new ideas. Books are a great source of ideas, big and small. So if you find yourself in a slump, pick a book on the portion of your life you are slump-ing and get to reading!

23. Reduces stress - Many avid readers (including me) unwind by reading. Compared with the person who gets home from work and immediately turns on the TV news, you are going from work stress to crime stress. But it’s not just news. TV as a source of relaxation is too full of loud commercials and fast moving (often violent) images. If relaxation is something you want, turn off the TV or computer and pick up a book.

24. Gets you away from digital distractions – If you, like many others, feel overwhelmed with the flashing lights, beeps, boops and ring-a-dings that burn up our computing lives, then give books a chance. When you find some good books, you’ll find yourself drawn into the subject matter. You’ll want to spend more time reading. By spending more time reading books, you’ll have less time for the plethora of the digital gadgets begging for our attention.

25. You’ll make more money - If you make a serious effort to read in your chosen career, your expertise in that specialty will increase. As you become more specialized and learned, you join a smaller group of more qualified people. By being part of the small few with the highest level knowledge your pay will increase. It’s simple supply and demand.

26. The book is always better than the movie – except for perhaps No Country for Old Men. [pic]

What are some of the most important books you have read? What is the title that changed your life? If you’ve found a book that made a major change in how you work, live or love, please tell us about it in the comments below.



10 Benefits of Reading!

Sep 29, 2008

I’m indebted to my mother to have inculcated a great habit like reading in me. I still remember how she used to just gift books for the special occasions like birthdays and Diwali. Slowly her perseverance of this trend became a passion for me.  This habit grew stronger as I grew up. I started working and the mounting pressure of work kept me away from reading for long spans of time. But whenever I got some pockets of idleness in between projects, reading always came to my rescue. It never let me be unoccupied. Besides just keeping me engrossed, reading helped me improve my vocabulary and general awareness about the world, introduced me to the different cultures around the globe, kept the motor of my brain working and imbibed a certain level of discipline in my life.

Reading is one of the best hobbies a person can have. But it’s saddening to know that majority of us aren’t introduced to the fabulous world of books. If you are one of the non-book readers who feels you “don’t need no stinking books”, here are some reasons to start the habit…before you are left behind!

1. Reading is an active mental process: Unlike sitting in front of the idiot box (TV), reading makes you use your brain. While reading you would be forced to reason out many things which are unfamiliar to you. In this process you would use the grey cells of your brain to think and become smarter.

2. Reading improves your vocabulary: Remember in elementary school when you learned how to infer the meaning of one word by reading the context of the other words in the sentence? You get the same benefit from book reading. While reading books, especially challenging ones, you will find yourself exposed to many new words you wouldn’t be otherwise.

3. Gives you a glimpse into other cultures and places of the world: How would you know about the life of people in Mexico if you don’t read about it? Reading gives you an insight into the diversity of ethnicity of people, their customs, their lifestyles etc. You become more aware about the different places and the code of conduct in those places.

4. Improves concentration and focus: It requires you to focus on what you are reading for long periods. Unlike magazines, Internet posts or e-Mails that might contain small chunks of information, books tell the whole story. Since you must concentrate in order to read, like a muscle, you will get better at concentration.

5. Builds self-esteem: The more you read, the more knowledgeable you become. With more knowledge comes more confidence. More confidence builds self-esteem. So it’s a chain reaction. Since you are so well read, people look to you for answers. Your feelings about yourself can only get better.

6. Improves memory: Many studies show if you don’t use your memory, you lose it. Crossword puzzles are an example of a word game that staves off Alzheimer’s. Reading, although not a game, helps you stretch your memory muscles in a similar way. Reading requires remembering details, facts and figures and in literature, plot lines, themes and characters.

7. Improves your discipline: Making time to read is something we all know we should do, but who schedules book reading time every day? Very few… That’s why adding book reading to your daily schedule and sticking to it, improves discipline.

8. Improves creativity: Reading about diversity of life and exposing yourself to new ideas and more information helps to develop the creative side of the brain as it imbibes innovation into your thinking process.

9. You always have something to talk about: Have you ever found yourself in an embarrassing situation where you didn’t have anything to talk about? Did you hate yourself for making a fool of yourself? Do you want a remedy for this? It’s simple. Start reading. Reading widens your horizon of information. You’ll always have something to talk about. You can discuss various plots in the novels you read, you can discuss the stuff you are learning in the business books you are reading as well. The possibilities of sharing become endless.

10. Reduces boredom: One of the rules I have is if I am feeling bored, I will pick up a book and start reading. What I’ve found by sticking to this is that I become interested in the book’s subject and stop being bored. I mean, if you’re bored anyway, you might as well be reading a good book, right?

If you want to break the monotony of a lazy, uncreative and boring life, go and grab an interesting book. Turn the pages to explore a new world filled with information and ingenuity.

Subject: Re: the benefits of reading

Hi dadair,

Thank you for an interesting question. Ahhh! the joys of reading just because I love to read. :) "According to a recent study by the National Endowment for the Arts, the amount of reading done for pleasure is down in this country, especially reading of literature such as fiction, poetry and drama. It is happening across all age groups, all genders and races, regardless of income, education, or region. Perhaps most disturbing, the steepest decline has come among young adults, ages 18 to 24, over the past two decades."

"Reading is the best thing we can do, for ourselves and each other. Not only does it enrich our lives, but it can enrich the world around us. As the NEA survey also indicates, people who read for pleasure are many more times more likely than those who don't to visit museums and attend concerts, and almost three times as likely to perform volunteer and charity work. Readers are active participants in the world around them, and that is the best kind of person to be."

7 Benefits of Reading Fiction

"Is your life so busy you're wondering how you are going to find time to read more, especially when it's just for 'pleasure'? Having trouble justifying it, even to yourself? Leisure activities like reading are often the things that slide when life goes into overdrive. And that's sad because it's an activity that can make life richer and more enjoyable.

A lot has been written about the benefits of reading for and to children. However, there is very little about the benefits to adults in engaging in regular reading. Let me assure you that the benefits for adults do exist and are many and varied.

Some of these include:

1. Providing an escape from the day-to-day Fiction is a great way to take a quick immediate break, to be instantly transported into another world. Today you could be in America, in the deep south with Alice

Walker's 'The Colour Purple', tomorrow in the Australian bush with Tim Winton's 'Dirt Music', next week in downtown London with Helen Fielding's 'Bridget Jones Diary' and next month in Ireland with Jim O'Neill's 'At Swim, Two Boys'. There is no limit to the places fiction can take you.

2. Relaxation There is something about stopping to focus on words arranged for our reading pleasure that is instantly relaxing. Maybe it's staying still, something that doesn't seem to happen often enough. Maybe it's knowing that we are stepping into a secret world that we have to relax enough to enter. Then there is the words themselves. The beauty and rhythm of language has the ability to calm

and relax us.

3. Stress relief Taking your mind off your own problems, even for a few minutes, can have a therapeutic effect and be a timely circuit breaker. This is so effective that the National Health System in the United Kingdom has introduced a 'Reading and You Scheme'. The scheme encourages mental health patients to read more as part of their therapy for reducing stress and overcoming anxiety, depression and social isolation.

4. Stimulates the right side of your brain Reading opens your mind to new possibilities. It stretches your imagination in new and wonderful directions and takes your mind on a wonderful journey through others'

lives.

5. Entertaining Fiction is capable of provoking many and varied emotional responses ? it can make you laugh out loud, it can make tears spill onto the page, it can be edge-of-the seat terrifying, it can make you blush with embarrassment, it can challenge your core beliefs. There is a world of emotion in every story and you as thereader get to be part of it.

6. Enjoyable Reading is a deeply satisfying pursuit. The expression 'curling up with a book' evokes a warm and cosy image and feels luxurious if you don't get to do it often.

7. Rejuvenating Reading is an easy and quick way to nourish your soul because it is for the most part a solitary pursuit. And being alone, or at least alone in your thoughts, on a regular basis is crucial to

maintaining a sense of self. As I'm sure you know, it's easier to give to others when you feel fulfilled and your needs are met. Even just a few minutes of reading can keep you going throughout the day. Of course, you know you've read something special when you find your thoughts continually re-visiting it.

Reading is like exercising ? mental and physical benefits flow from a regular routine.

So don't feel guilty about taking time out to read. Its good for you!"

The Benefit of Reading Books

By Neel Raman [pic]

You've learned the power of your imagination to open new windows and doors to let light in on those shadows that clouded your vision in the past. You are a creative and gifted human being with the potential to create better things and to make a difference by inspiring others to challenge their own ways of living, and make the commitment to changing their own lives.

Imagination is a source of such energy and it shines brightest when it breathes in the oxygen of new ideas and free thought. The greatest writers challenged the world to look at life in new and different ways; they challenged the status quo and dared people to question their ideals, their values, their morals, and their beliefs.

If there were no imagination there would be no progression. There would be no will to aspire to better things, and no vision to see beyond the obvious and the mundane. There would be nothing to strive for and no goals, because everyone would be quite content to sit in an armchair and stare at the wall.

Take the challenge. Open your mind wide and join in the conversation with writers and thinkers and anyone who sees the world in different ways. It doesn't matter a bit whether you agree with what they're saying - the thrill of excitement comes when you fully engage with new ideas and your mind takes off into a quiet room where nothing else matters but the words on the page and the ideas and visions spark in your mind.

Let your imagination go. Be swept away and open up that pathway between the crackling energy of inspiration and your mind and soul. Revel in the joy of new knowledge. Really listen to the conversations and open.

Reading isn't only about the ideas either. Listen to the words as they ride by - feel their energy and hear their music - whatever language you have as your own, celebrate its beauty and its sound.

What you're reading and experiencing isn't simply a collection of cold words on a flat page. Those words were written with conviction, passion and energy, and what you can experience now is that same passion and energy that the writer had.

Books are powerhouses and they will challenge you to meet their power with your own.

They cause change. They can be a phenomenal source of inspiration in your life.

10 Ways Reading the Great Books Can Improve Your Life

by Jamie on March 4, 2009

The Master Course in Personal Development May Already Be Sitting On Your Shelf

Reading the great books takes a lot of effort. Studying masterpieces such as the Odyssey or the works of Shakespeare requires more concentration than picking up a Tom Clancy novel. But, the payoffs can be tremendous.

If you’re not sold on starting a reading plan, consider the benefits that reading great literature can bring to your life. Here are 10 ways reading these books can have a real impact on who you are and how you think:

1. Understand what shapes your thoughts and beliefs. Whether you’re conscious of it or not, chances are your belief system is based on social norms that have evolved through centuries of history. What you think are independent ideas may very well be philosophies created by the great thinkers of previous generations. Robert M. Hutchins, Editor in Chief of the Great Books of the Western World, explained it this way:

“These books are the means of understanding our society and ourselves. They contain the great ideas that dominate us without our knowing it. There is no comparable repository in our tradition.”

Consider your thoughts on subjects such as romantic love, truth, democracy, and freedom. Are your ideas your own? Or are your thoughts dominated by an outside cultural influence? By reading the great books, you can see how ideas developed over time and be aware of how they affect you now. You may choose to accept or reject the current way of thinking. But, either way you will become cognizant that it is a choice and gain the agency to make a decision for yourself.

2. Let a little genius rub off on you. When I was growing up, my parents always reminded me to choose my friends carefully. “You are who you associate with,” some say. Perhaps the same is true of books. The great books were written by some of the best minds in history. By reading them, your own mind can expand and your thoughts reach a higher plane. Sir Richard Livingston said:

“We are tied down, all our days and for the greater part of our days, to the commonplace. This is where contact with great thinkers, great literature helps. In their company we are still in the ordinary world, but it is the ordinary world transfigured and seen through the eyes of wisdom and genius.”

Reading the great books may not turn us into Platos and Einsteins. But, their words can bring out our strengths.

3. Read like an Ivy League grad. When I was teaching high school, I noticed that students on my campus were focusing on popular modern-day books while students in the preppy private schools received a more liberal education with emphasis on the great thinkers of history. The same seems true with colleges. State programs give a cursory overview of the greats while Ivy League graduates complete school with a firmer grasp of important ideas and what they mean in the world today. Proponents of the classics in schools say, “What’s best for the best, is best for everyone.” No matter what your background, reading the classics can give you a fuller understanding of the world. It’s possible to bring your mind to the same level as Ivy League grads by pursuing a self-study of these important works.

4. Escape from the narrow box of specialization. Focusing your expertise on just one subject may be a smart way to earn a living. But, by shutting yourself off from a more extensive world of knowledge, you limit your ability to excel. In order to truly thrive in any field, people need a broad understanding of the world and how it works. Hutchins said:

“The liberally educated man has a mind that can operate will in all fields. He may be a specialist in one field. But he can understand anything important that is said in any field and can see and use the light that it sheds upon his own.”

Whether you’re in computer science, marketing, healthcare, or any other field, gaining a broad knowledge of the many subjects covered in the great books will help you in your specialization.

5. Learn from past mistakes. It is often said that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. By ignoring the discoveries recorded in the great books, we are bound to make the same mistakes – both on a societal level and in our own lives. Educational philosopher Mortimer Adler explained:

“People who question or even scorn the study of the past and its works usually assume that the past is entirely different from the present, and that hence we can learn nothing worthwhile from the past. But it is not true that the past is entirely different from the present. We can learn much of value from its similarity and its difference…

We and the ancients share a common human nature and hence certain common human experiences and problems.”

Everyone has to forge his own path in this life. But, why not see how others conquered the same challenges? There’s no point to wander lost in a wilderness when dozens of guidebooks are freely available.

6. Improve your ability to comprehend. Although the great books weren’t written for specialists and experts, they can be a tough read. If you’re tempted to trade in Sophocles for Sue Grafton, realize that stepping outside of your reading comfort-zone can do wonders for your comprehension. Hutchins explained:

“If many great books seem unreadable and unintelligible…it may be because we have not for a long time learned to read by reading them. Great books teach people not only how to read them, but how to read other books as well.”

Once you get through a few of the more challenging books, you’ll find it easier to comprehend all kinds of works. As a more confident reader, you won’t need to shy away from academic articles or historical texts. The entire body of English writing will be in your domain.

7. Be truly human. At its heart, reading the great books is about exploring our humanity. Rousseau said:

“It matters little to me whether my pupil is intended for the army, the church, or the law. Before his parents chose a calling for him, nature called him to be a man…When he leaves me, he will be neither a magistrate, a soldier, not a priest; he will be a man.”

As a pupil of the great books, you enter into a discussion of what it means to be a person. Ultimately, ulterior motives such as appearing smart fall to the wayside. You can forget all the blogs, self-help books, and magazine articles that tell you how to improve your life. The great books are the master course in self-development.

8. Find your own answers to life’s big questions. By following themes in the great books, you’ll realize that certain topics are discussed over and over again throughout history: “What is our destiny? What is a good life? How can we achieve a good society? What can we learn to guide us through the mazes of the future from history, philosophy and religion, literature, and the fine arts?”

Reading the great books won’t give you an ultimate answer to the big questions. But, they will offer diverse views and possibilities. By understanding the conclusions that great thinkers have come to about these questions, you’ll come closer to settling on answers that works for you.

9. Develop a spirit of inquiry. Too many people are complacent about their lives, not concerning themselves with the ideas that have made the world what it is today. Reading the great books can help you foster your natural curiosity and desire to learn even more about the world. Hutchins put it this way:

“To put an end to the spirit of inquiry that has characterized the West it is not necessary to burn the books. All we have to do is leave them unread for a few generations.”

That’s a pretty startling quote. But, it’s true. All the discoveries, thoughts, and ideas of the people who came before us are meaningless unless we care enough to explore them.

10. Join in the great conversation. Ultimately, the great books make up a conversation that spans mortal time and space. The Romans respond to the Greeks, the authors of the middle ages express their reaction to the Romans, and so on. Modern-day authors are responding to ideas first expressed hundreds of years ago. Once you have a grasp of what has been said in this unending conversation, you’ll be prepared to join in. Write a book, have a discussion with a friend, or post on a message board. Add your 2 cents and become a part of the greatest fireside chat the world has ever seen.

The benefits of reading

1. Reading repels anxiety and grief.

2. While busy reading, one is prevented from delving into falsehood.

3. Habitual reading makes one too busy to keep company with the idle and the inactive.

4. By reading often, one develops eloquence and clarity in speech.

5. Reading helps to develop the mind and purify its thoughts.

6. Reading increases one in knowledge and improves both memory and understanding.

7. By reading, one benefits from the experiences of others: the wisdom of the wise and the understanding of scholars.

8. By reading often, one develops the ability to both acquire and process knowledge and to learn about the different fields of knowledge and their applications to life.

9. One's faith will increase when one reads beneficial books, especially books written by practicing Muslim writers. The book is the best giver of sermons and it has a forceful effect in guiding one towards goodness and away from evil.

10. Reading helps to relax one's mind from distraction and to save one's time from being wasted.

11. By reading often, one gains a mastery over many words and learns the different constructions of sentences; moreover, one improves his ability to grasp concepts and to understand what is written 'between the lines.'

"Nourishment of the soul is in concepts and meanings, And not in food and drink."

Reading Aloud to Kids: The 12 Benefits of Reading Books

Out Loud to Children of All Ages

by

Reading aloud to children is one of the most important things you can do to ensure their future success, and more and more Americans seem to be jumping on the read-aloud bandwagon. While only 78 percent of families read to their pre-kindergarten-aged children frequently (three or more times a week) in 1993, this increased to 86 percent in 2005, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Kids of all ages (and adults, too) benefit from being read to, including even babies and toddlers.

"Children are never too young to have stories read to them," says Nancy Verhoek-Miller, a specialist in early childhood education at Mississippi State University.

The benefits are so profound, and kids form so much of their intelligence potential during the early years of their life, that experts recommend reading aloud to your child as soon as he or she is born, and continuing

indefinitely.

Why Read to Your Kids? Here are 12 Important Reasons

"The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children," a Commission on Reading report found.

[pic]

It's never too early to start reading to your kids. Experts recommend starting as soon as they're born.

In fact, reading is so important that a non-profit group called Read Aloud America is traveling to different schools to promote literacy, encourage a love of reading in adults and children, and increase children's prospects for success in school and life.

Their Read Aloud Program (RAP) brings together kids and families at host schools to stimulate their interest in reading, decrease television viewing, increase family time spent in reading activities, and connect the values of good books to everyday life. Although the program is currently only offered in Hawaii, you can gain the same benefits from reading to your kids at home.

Here are 12 of the key reasons to start (or continue) reading aloud to your kids today.

1. Build a lifelong interest in reading. "Getting kids actively involved in the process of reading, and having them interact with adults, is key to a lifelong interest in reading," said BeAnn Younker, principal at Battle Ground Middle School in Indiana.

2. Children whose parents read to them tend to become better readers and perform better in school, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

3. Reading to kids helps them with language and speech development.

4. It expands kids' vocabulary and teaches children how to pronounce new words.

[pic]

Not only will reading to your child help him develop language and listening skills, and a sense of curiosity, but it will help to strengthen the bond you share as well.

5. Reading to toddlers prepares them for school, during which they will need to listen to what is being said to them (similar to what they do while being read to).

6. Reading to older kids helps them understand grammar and correct sentence structure.

7. Kids and parents can use reading time as bonding time. It's an excellent opportunity for one-on-one communication, and it gives kids the attention they crave.

8. Being read to builds children's attention spans and helps them hone their listening skills.

9. Curiosity, creativity and imagination are all developed while being read to.

10. Being read to helps kids learn how to express themselves clearly and confidently.

11. Kids learn appropriate behavior when they're read to, and are exposed to new situations, making them more prepared when they encounter these situations in real life.

12. When read to, children are able to experience the rhythm and melody of language even before they can understand the spoken or printed word.

Book Giveaways Tuesday, June 2, 2009

10 Benefits of Reading...

10 Benefits of Reading...

Reading is an active mental process: Unlike sitting in front of the idiot box (TV), reading makes you use your brain. While reading you would be forced to reason out many things which are unfamiliar to you. In this process you would use the grey cells of your brain to think and become smarter.

Reading improves your vocabulary: Remember in elementary school when you learned how to infer the meaning of one word by reading the context of the other words in the sentence? You get the same benefit from book reading. While reading books, especially challenging ones, you will find yourself exposed to many new words you wouldn’t be otherwise.

Gives you a glimpse into other cultures and places of the world: How would you know about the life of people in Mexico if you don’t read about it? Reading gives you an insight into the diversity of ethnicity of people, their customs, their lifestyles etc. You become more aware about the different places and the code of conduct in those places.

Improves concentration and focus: It requires you to focus on what you are reading for long periods. Unlike magazines, Internet posts or e-Mails that might contain small chunks of information, books tell the whole story. Since you must concentrate in order to read, like a muscle, you will get better at concentration.

Builds self-esteem: The more you read, the more knowledgeable you become. With more knowledge comes more confidence. More confidence builds self-esteem. So it’s a chain reaction. Since you are so well read, people look to you for answers. Your feelings about yourself can only get better.

Improves memory: Many studies show if you don’t use your memory, you lose it. Crossword puzzles are an example of a word game that staves off Alzheimer’s. Reading, although not a game, helps you stretch your memory muscles in a similar way. Reading requires remembering details, facts and figures and in literature, plot lines, themes and characters.

Improves your discipline: Making time to read is something we all know we should do, but who schedules book reading time every day? Very few… That’s why adding book reading to your daily schedule and sticking to it, improves discipline.

Improves creativity: Reading about diversity of life and exposing yourself to new ideas and more information helps to develop the creative side of the brain as it imbibes innovation into your thinking process.

You always have something to talk about: Have you ever found yourself in an embarrassing situation where you didn’t have anything to talk about? Did you hate yourself for making a fool of yourself? Do you want a remedy for this? It’s simple. Start reading. Reading widens your horizon of information. You’ll always have something to talk about. You can discuss various plots in the novels you read, you can discuss the stuff you are learning in the business books you are reading as well. The possibilities of sharing become endless.

Reduces boredom: One of the rules I have is if I am feeling bored, I will pick up a book and start reading. What I’ve found by sticking to this is that I become interested in the book’s subject and stop being bored. I mean, if you’re bored anyway, you might as well be reading a good book, right?

So now dear friends off I go to read. Come back soon for the winners of the audio book No Matter What. Have a great night! ♥ Hugs!

Posted by Shauna at 6:29 PM [pic]

The Benefits of Reading to Your Child

 The vast mass of knowledge in the world can only be gained by reading, and if you want your kid to be smart, he has to acquire a love for reading.   This love for reading can be instilled in your kid as early as in his first few months by reading to him. 

Many studies have demostrated that reading to your child have many priceless benefits. 

For example, a study was made in Rhode Island Hospital to compare two groups of eight months old – one group was read to often as babies, while the other was not.  It was shown that those who were read to have their “receptive” vocabularies (number of words they understand) increased 40 per cent since babyhood, while the non-reading group increased by only 16 per cent. 

Indeed, reading to your kid is one of the most effective way of building the “language” neural connections in his growing brain.

Other benefits of reading to your kid are as follows:

• Reading to your kid makes you bond with him, and this gives your child a sense of intimacy and well-being. 

• The intimacy of reading to your kid is such a pleasurable experience to him that he will have a positive attitude towards reading as he grows up.

• It calms your child, especially when he is fretful and restless.

• It promotes increased communication between you and your child.

• Pre-school children who are exposed to language by hearing words that are read to him and in conversation tend to do well in school.

• It promotes longer attention span, which is an important skill for your kid to be able to concentrate.

• It builds listening skills and imagination.

• Your young child learns about colors, shapes, numbers, and letters, while your older child discovers an expanding chain of knowledge.  His interest in cars, for example, will expand to his interest in trucks, and other transportation like planes and rockets, and soon he will be reading about outer space, science and technology, and so forth. 

• Books teach your child about relationships, situations, personalities, and what is good and what is bad in the world he lives in.  Fantasy books provide material for his imagination and free play.  Fairy tales fascinate your kid, and help him distinguish between what is real and what is not.

Here are some tips to remember on reading to your kid so he will grow up a reader:

• Since your kid imitates your behavior, let him see you read books.  Let him know that reading is a part of life!

• Let your child feel that reading a book with him is a pleasurable and enjoyable experience, and not a stressful activity that you are forcing him to do.

• Form a habit of reading to him at the same time each day, or at least several times a week.  Choose a time when you and your child are both relaxed and not rushed.

• Choose books that your kid will be most interested in, and appropriate for his age. A young child likes colorful drawings and pictures of people.

• To help your child understand that letters and words are symbols that are used to communicate, run your finger under the print but don’t force your child to follow your finger.

• Sometimes, your kid likes a particular book and wants to read it repeatedly.  Do not discourage this, since he finds reading this book pleasurable - and pleasure is what he should get from reading!  Also, he is getting the most out of this book and is giving you a hint about his interest!

• Expose your kid though to a variety of books.

• You can use reading as a way to allay your child’s fears or prepare him for changes in his life.  For example, you can choose books about using the potty, going to school, or moving to a new house when he is about to have these new experiences.

• Teach your child to treasure books and treat them with respect – keeping them clean and in good condition.

• Surround your kid with books.  Keep books where your kid can easily reach them so he will be able to browse them by himself.

• Take books to read to your child on long trips and places where you have to wait like the doctor’s office.

These are age-appropriate tips on how to read to your child most effectively:

Tips on Reading To Your Baby

• When reading a book to your baby, keep in mind that you are building in him a positive and pleasurable association with reading.

Bright and colorful picture books (with little text) are the best to help them focus and pay attention.   Some babies, though, like nursery rhymes or songs.  In this case, give him what he likes.

• Choose square, small books that your baby can grab and gum without damaging the pages.  After six months, he will be able to turn the pages, and you can choose plastic bath books or books with cloth pages.

• The baby’s first books should be short because his attention span is still short.

• Point out the objects in each colorful picture—"See the ball?"; "What’s inside the box?"  Spend time talking about the pictures before turning the page.  That is how he acquires words in his vocabulary. 

• Let your baby play with books.

Tips on Reading To Your Toddler

• Do things that will make reading a book more entertaining to your child – and to you.  You can use different tones of voice for different situations, choose different voices for characters, and so on.  It is not just what you are reading that matters, but also how you read it.

• You may tell the story in your own words if the words on the book is too complex for your child, and you don't want him to lose interest.

• Give your child time to make the most out of every page of the book.  Encourage him to look at the pictures, point out objects, repeat words, and talk about the story.

• Ask questions like “Who did that?”, “What is she doing?”, “What is that called?”.   Also, to keep your child involved in the story, do not read straight through.  Ask questions like “Why do you think it happened?” and “What do you think will happen next?”

• After reading a book, take time to ask your child question about what he liked or didn’t like about the story.

• To build your child’s vocabulary, ask him about where an object is in the book.  Praise him every time he points or names an object.

• Choose books that tell a story with a lot of repetition and have the same words appearing over and over.

• If you have more than one child, read to each child separately, especially if they're more than 2 years apart.  Reading to children with different ages together is also a good practice.

Tips on Reading to Your Preschooler

• Let your child indulge in his interest when reading books.  Visit a book store or local library and let your child choose the book he likes.  Remember, you want to teach your child that reading is fun!

• To further encourage reading, read aloud together with you pointing at the words.  If your kid makes a mistake, say the correct word and move on.

Book It! Reading Activities Make It A Joy For Kids

By Robin McClure

Key Is To Build Reading Activity Into Routine

From preschool forward, most teachers strongly urge parents to have their children read--or be read to--on a reading activity schedule throughout the year. This includes summer months, holiday breaks, or any time when school is out. It's easy to understand why. Children who maintain their reading skills or younger ones who are read to on a daily basis will be on target for back-to-school or back-to-regular routines in the fall. Those who don't typically have to pay catch-up in the classroom, which can set the stage for a challenging year.

Child care centers, in-home child providers, babysitters, and family members can do their part to foster a love of reading through fun reading activities. Parents should ask whether their day care center or care provider reads to children daily--and if not, ask them to start a story hour. Older kids who no longer take naps often find enjoyment in reading right after lunch, traditionally considered "quiet time." Parents can set an hour each evening for books; older ones can read in their room, read to their parents, or even to younger siblings. Younger children always enjoy being read a story on a topic of interest to them.

The key is to always make the reading experience fun and a time to look forward to. Reading or a reading activity should never be perceived as a chore. What are things parents and child care providers alike should keep in mind to encourage reading?

Take advantage of weather by dangling the reading carrot in fun ways. Be adventurous and make it a game as to where you should read to your child and how. In warm weather, read next to a pond or lake, under a tree, by the pool, or even in the tree house. Be bold and carefree. One mother reads to her young child in their blow-up children's pool in the backyard during the summer months. Another mom finishes the much-anticipated daily trip to the park in the spring or fall by reading a book before they leave. Cold months can mix reading activities by having books about snowmen, snowfalls, winter holidays, or sports such as ice skating. Day care centers or child providers can add reading fun into the mix by tying it into a planned activity for the week. If the theme for the week is "Under the Sea," then the books can be about the ocean or fish.

Consider a reading series. There are countless book series tailor made for your child's age, and a good experience with one means there is a high likelihood your child will enjoy others about the same characters. There are series on action heroes and princesses, popular characters such as Bob the Builder, the classic Dr. Suess collection, and about young heroes and heroines. There are series about beginning school for the first time or about going on vacation. Older children like series such as Harry Potter.

Build reading into the schedule. Parents and child providers can and should build a reading activity into the daily schedule. While evening or before-bedtime are popular times to read, reading after breakfast or before children go to an activity, sets a routine that most children embrace. Providers can set a daily story time and let parents know what book is being read and how it matches enrichment and learning activities for the week.

Plan ahead with exciting books on vacation. Vacation is a prime time for reading enjoyment, when family is together and fun is in the plans. Reading is a great activity for around the pool or in the hotel room in the evening.

Build a reading activity into life's planning. Children of all ages should learn the connection between reading and knowledge. If your family is adding a flower bed, have children read about how to prepare a bed and what flowers and shrubs are optimal for the area of the country and whether it is in sun or shade. Getting a new family pet? Read up on varieties of dogs, care required, and even stories about children and their pets first. Traveling somewhere? You guessed it, read all about your destination first and you and your children will have the added benefit of knowing more about the area when you arrive.

Involve the entire family. Studies show that moms have the tendency to read more to their children then dads, robbing both children and fathers of positive reading experiences. Make reading time with dad or grandpa a priority. Dads read books aloud with children differently then moms do, and children will flourish with the perspective and experience of both.

Ask for your child's feedback. Evaluation and discussion is an important part of a positive book-reading experience. Ask your child simple questions, such as: Did you like the book? Why or why not? Who was your favorite character? What was your favorite scene? Did you like how it ended? Would you like to read it again someday? Don't be surprised if your child wants to re-read the same book again! That means you did your job well and helped foster a love of reading.

Top 5 Ways to Foster the Love of Reading

By Carol Bainbridge

Everyone wants to foster the reading in their children. This is true regardless of when the children begin to read. Whether the children begin to read before they are two or don't start to read until they start school, they are sure to enjoy these activities.

1. Provide Reading Material

Children can't read if they don't have anything to read! We know that children in homes full of reading material are more likely to read themselves. Even if children aren't reading yet on their own, reading material should be available. Both books and magazines for children should be in the house. Of course, it's best if parents read to their children, but whether parents read often to their children or not, the material should be available.

The books should represent a wide variety of topics and genres. These should include picture books, fiction, and nonfiction on a variety of topics.

2. Read Out Loud Together

Reading to children is a great way to encourage reading. Many parents think that once their children begin to read, they no longer need to read to their kids. However, reading together can be a very special time. It not only fosters a love of reading, it also provides an opportunity to strengthen emotional bonds.

Early readers may hide their ability to read because they fear the loss of that special time with parents. It can help if parents say things like "I enjoy reading with you. When you learn to read, I hope we can still spend time like this. Maybe then we can even take turns reading to each other."

3. Visit the Library

Children can't read if they don't have anything to read! Sometimes parents think their children aren't interested in reading because their kids don't enjoy the typical children's books. However, many gifted kids prefer to read non-fiction. If they have material to read on their favorite topic, dinosaurs or computers for example, they may be voracious readers.

Making regular trips to the library also tells children that reading is important - and fun - enough that it's worth the time set aside for visits. Parents can also use library visits a way to learn more about their children's interests.

4. Include Notes with School Lunches

This activity is especially fun for young early readers, children who started to read before age five, sometimes as early as two. If these early readers are in preschool, they'll really enjoy getting special notes they can read at lunch time. The notes needn't be too long, though, just long enough to wish the child a good day and say "I love you."

Once kids are in first grade, the window of opportunity for sending notes along with lunch shrinks. Beginning readers should still enjoy it, but for older children who are beginning to become more independent, it may become a bit less exciting.

. Create Reading "Scavenger Hunts"

Technically these aren't scavenger hunts so much as they are reading puzzles. This is a great activity for birthdays and other gift-giving holidays. Rather than giving a child a gifted directly, parents start out with a note that can be inserted in a card or some other container such as a plastic hollow egg.

The first note provides directions or hints on where to find a second note. The second note provides a hint for the next note and so on until the last note, which sends the child to a gift. These hunts can be as challenging for the parents to create as they are for the kids to solve!

Reading And Its Benefits

Reading is a popular past-time and there are several reasons why people read. Some read for knowledge, some read for pleasure and some read so that they can stimulate their brain - keeping it active and healthy.

Being "well-read" includes many health benefits for the brain. Studies have shown that reading can be a healthy activity - as it stimulates brain cell activity.

Here are 5 great reasons why reading is good for your health.

Five Reasons to Read

1. Cognition Cognition means "the process of thought". Reading helps improve cognition and the way we process thought in our everyday lives.

2. Learning Many people learn through reading. Many "well-read" individuals are knowledgeable, aware and are able to think outside of the box.

3. Stimulation Reading stimulates brain cells and keeps your brain healthy. The brain needs exercise and reading provides this stimulation.

4. Stress Relief Reading is fun and encourages imagination. Reading can also be an escape and give you a break from the stressors of life.

5. Healthy Aging Reading exercises and stimulates the brain cells and may affect our overall health. The benefits of reading a book can include warding off early dementia, helping memory, and improving basic brain function

The Benefits of Reading with Children

More than 20 Benefits of Reading

Research has shown that reading to children significantly raises their potential for academic and life-long success.

As you snuggle up to enjoy sharing a story with your children, you may be quite unaware of the host of benefits of reading that your children will enjoy that contributes to this success:

1. Reading encourages family bonding. The first benefit of reading is that your children will feel more loved because of the books you have shared.

For many children "love" is spelled “T-I-M-E” and reading together requires good quantities of time! Reading will also promote communication between parents and children.

• For a child whose love language is time, reading will fill his love tank.

• For a child whose love language is physical touch – cuddling up will express love to her.

• For a child whose love language is words of affirmation – there will be opportunities to discuss and praise her for her perception.

• For a child whose love language is acts of service – you are serving him by reading to him.

• For the child whose love language is gifts – well, buy her a lot of great stories and she’ll feel loved and adored too!

Children that know they are loved have a greater likelihood of succeeding in life.

(Read The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell for more on this topic.)

2. Routine - Regular reading contributes to predictability and routine in the home. If children know that every evening they will share a bedtime story or every morning a Bible story, they become secure in knowing what is expected at different times of the day. As a child, our neighbour’s children used to rush over to our house after school in the afternoon to join us in our daily read aloud of The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton.

3. Tradition - Another benefit of reading together is the establishement of a much loved family tradition.

4. Common experiences - Reading provides a family with shared experiences and a rich reserve of common knowledge from which to draw. We can use this to remind our children of life lessons and character training we have learned from the stories we have shared. Eg. Remember how the little girl felt when she was excluded by the other children in A Hundred Dresses? We can also share jokes and humorous comments when we have the same information base from which the humour is drawn.

5. Teaching moments - Children can learn many lessons about how to function in the world from stories that they enjoy, especially if a parent discusses the issues that arise. Reading facilitates ‘teaching moments’ where children’s fears can be overcome, sympathy developed and their experiences broadened. They can be taught appropriate behaviour through new situations they encounter through the reading of stories.

6. Facilitates difficult topics - Reading carefully chosen books may facilitate communication about topics that might otherwise be difficult to broach eg. Divorce, racism, sexuality, etc.

7. Reading expands children’s horizons - Children can learn about other people, places and times through the reading of stories:

"Children should have the joy of living in far lands, in other persons, in other times - a delightful double existence; and this joy they will find, for the most part, in their story books. Their lessons, too, history and geography, should cultivate their conceptive powers. If the children do not live in the times of his history lesson, be not at home in the climate his geography book describes, why, these lessons will fail of their purpose."~Charlotte Mason

8. Healthy family entertainment - Reading aloud together introduces children to books as a form of entertainment and enables families to entertain themselves with topics of their own choosing, instead of being at the mercy of the television channels! Reading good literature is a much healthier alternative to the media.

9. Develops discerning readers - Another benefit of reading is that introducing your children to good quality stories from a young age will help them to become discerning readers with a taste for good literature when they are older.

10. Sparks life-long interests - Reading aloud may seed a child with a life-long interest in a particular field. Eg. Reading about James Herriot, a country vet, may spark a desire to become a vet.

11. Develops attentiveness - Reading aloud teaches children to pay attention, focus and concentrate. Even if a child pursues other activities like puzzles, lego or drawing, she will learn to pay attention and listen carefully. Attentiveness is a good skill for academic success.

12. Reading aloud develops auditory perception – the skill of hearing and understanding what has been said.

13. Reading develops vocabulary and pronounciation skills. Children will be exposed to words they would not normally encounter. Usually they are able to guess the meaning of new words from the context, but often parents may need to explain.

14. Aids deciphering new words - Having a wider vocabulary will enable a beginner reader to decipher new words more easily as he already understands them and knows how to pronounce them.

15. Models good language - Reading good written text provides a model of good grammar and sentence structure which will promote good language skills, both oral and written, in children. Another great benefit of reading!

16. Links written and spoken language - Reading aloud helps young children understand the relationship between written text and the spoken word. They learn that we page from left to write and read left to write and top to bottom down a page. They understand that the letters on a page carry meaning.

17. Stories feed the mind as food feeds the body. Children have a hunger for good literature:

"...children have no natural appetite for twaddle, and a special literature for children is probably far less necessary than the booksellers would have us suppose…What they want is to be brought into touch with living thought of the best, their intellectual life feeds upon it without meddling on our part.” ~ Charlotte Mason

18. Develops cognitive skills - Reading aloud develops children’s imaginations and creativity. Following the complexities of a plot also facilitates logic thinking and problem solving skills.

"For hours when children are lost in a book, you know they are in the best hands. They are wandering the riverbank or jungle, exploring Narnia or Dickens's London. Unlike television, that does their imagining for them, reading fills children's minds with faces and place they must picture for themselves. It enables them to create their own imaginary adventures, even to understand someone better, or see things differently." ~ Lesley Garner

19. Increases IQ -Reading aloud has been shown to increase cognitive ability and IQ scores.

20. Develops curiosity - Reading stories develops children’s curiosity about people, places, motives and more.

21. Enjoyable learning - Reading together enables children to learn about subject matter that might be dry and boring in other formats. For example, a story set in historical times will make learning about that time period far more interesting than just reading the dry facts in a text book.

22. Promotes lifelong learning - Children learn that much of the answers they need can be found in written format - in books, libraries and on the internet.

23. Reading aloud with your children will do all of the above for you, the parent, too! The benefit of reading is not just for your children.

"A house without books is like a room without windows." ~Heinreich Mann

10 Quick Memory Tips.

Follow these tips carefully to improve your memory

Nail these tips and start rolling:

1. Start with small steps: Generally while you start learning or memorizing anything you start doing it as a whole. This makes the job much more tedious than it is. Thus, if you cut down the part to be memorized into smaller sections then you might be able to memorize it quite easily.

Also, while doing your day-to-day chores, you try and remember everything at a stretch. This should be avoided and you should go for remembering smaller parts of the while incident. This makes remembering anything an extremely easy task.

2. Associate (event, time or place): Associating things to be remembered with something that you can never forget, helps a great deal. You can associate the things to be remembered with almost anything. Like if you want to go home and share a joke that occurred at your working place with your dear ones, then you can associate it to the time that all of you are together and easily recall it.

3. Find out similarity: This might be a part of association itself. Even while learning words, you should find its similarities. This makes it easier for you to sort all the similar things in to the same group and remember them. This might help you a great deal if you are a working individual. In this manner, you can keep your professional and private life separate. Just categorize it into groups.

4. Linking: For learning anything, you need to go a specific way. For remembering one thing, you can chain up the events and then try remembering them instead of remembering them as different incidents or things. If you link up things in this manner it becomes easier to remember them all. Also, linking helps you to not only remember the incident it also helps you remember the minor details in it. Link the start, middle and ending to get the whole story remembered.

5. Express: If you want to remember a sentence or an incident, remember the expressions that you had while you said it or read it. This might help you a great deal to remember it as a whole and not forget any of it. Remembering expressions might make your remember the incident for a relatively long time than by remembering it the normal way.

6. Move: While you try remembering things, try and remember the moves that you made while doing the things. Thus, if you want to learn a poem, you can decide specific actions for different sentences and then try remembering the poem. It makes the work easier for you by a great deal. Like, if you want to tell somebody a joke that occurred in the elevator with some person, then you can remember being on the elevator and you easily recall the joke.

7. Try setting mnemonics for things that are extremely hard to remember but a must. If you want to learn a list of words then you can set a funny or witty mnemonic and then learn it thus making it damn easy. It can be said that this is the best and only way to mug up unending lists.

If it goes well for kids, it goes great for you, too.

8. Tune it: To remember poems or paragraphs, you can change the language and tune them in case of paragraphs or tune the poems and then learn it; this makes it easier to mug up almost big pages especially while you want to learn for your examinations.

9. Figure and color them: If you want to remember anything without reading it anywhere or learning it anywhere, then you can associate it with any colored image in your mind and remember it easily.

I think you are starting to get the idea of using different dimensions to improve your memory.

10. Try hard, but real hard: Until and unless you ‘want’ to learn whatever is in front of you or remember it, you can’t do it. Thus, you need to have to want to remember it and try hard to do so, and then you’ll be able to remember it quite easily and even faster then thought.

That's it.

Now, I would recommend reading the above tips again, tomorrow.

make a step by step actions, define for yourself a few months and start implementing some techniques as instructed on this site.

Congratulate yourself on any successful meaningful positive progress, then move on to your next memory improvement goal!.

Memory tips are not worth it if you are not committing to yourself a good practice, to succeed.

It is not going to be easy for you. Practical is always difficult then the theoretical part, but this is why you are here no? to start practicing.

If you need personal help and coaching, you have just found it!

The proven home course training, known as the best brain and memory exercise program ever (click and read the testimonials, it's 60 lessons, step by step unique program headed with the master of phenomenal memory itself - Ruslan)

Shall you need some motivation and good advice, come visit again to get inspiration and new tips. Join the newsletter to receive valuable information that will improve your memory and lifestyle, for sure!

Drop me a message when you feel these tips are working good for you or if you want to comment or add from your own proven experience.

Reading Books Vs.

Improving Your Memory

Reading books holds several advantages.

Books can be considered as the best friends of man as they are extremely helpful guide in times of stress. Books also help you know more and more things about the world around you. Books update you with knowledge and news as much as the newspapers do. They help you get more and more knowledge.

There are almost no disadvantages of reading books. The only criterion is that you should be reading good value books.

While you read books it is not necessary that you stick to a specific type, you can explore the world of books by joining any library close to your house. Book reading does not require any specific conditions. As long as you have the book and as long as your want to read it, you can read it and enjoy its content.

My smart wife is reading drama books and truly recommend reading such. However, even books like Harry Potter or other best sellers - DO a good job, too.

Reading books not just includes reading storybooks. No matter what book you are reading it has a lot of positive effect on you. If you are reading a book that’s extremely interesting, you get to know a lot of things, and also if you are reading a book that’s not much interesting you don’t assimilate the whole content but the gist of the book give you a lot of knowledge.

Advantages and disadvantages of reading books

Dr. Serper says “The workbooks contain predominantly frustration-free activities. With lots of repetition, or memory stimulation, in the form of puzzles, brain twisters and a reference or clue system for answering questions. The goal is exercising different segments of the brain.”

Advantages:

• Books bring you a lot of knowledge very easily. While you read you actually get to know all the things that you are reading and you remember them in your brain. Thus, reading book works on the same terms of learning. While you read various books, you get to know about different people, different place and different countries and cultures. Sceince fiction helps develop new brain connections, as they are not trivial daily sights. Books makes you learn a lot of things that are new to you.

• Books help you enhancing the brain functionality. When you read more books, you have to remember more pieces of information from all books. The workload of your brain increases, so it gets the right brain power exercise you need.

Your brain starts working in a categorized manner when you read books based on different subjects.

• Memory improvement is one more advantage of reading book as your brain gets a lot of material to store and recall. As the power of your brain increases, you can hold more information in your brain as well as recall. You need not take any memory improvement supplements if your reading is good.

There is no age to start or finish reading, but the sooner you start, the better.

• Reading can be used for distressing. No matter what situation you have faced, if you read a good book; a good smile appears on your face almost immediately. Thus, you need not take any medicines or supplements to distress yourself.

Disadvantages:

• Over stressing your eyes might be one disadvantage of too much reading. Though your brain develops by leaps and bounds, your eyes and other organs involved experience a lot of fatigue. This fatigue might hamper your working for about days together. Thus, it is extremely important to take breaks, once per hour. Think of if you were sitting in front of a computer looking on the screen constantly. Take a break, do nice eye massage, rest a bit, and move on.

• Reading quality books might get you the pleasure and satisfaction thoroughly. But if you read the books with some stupid content in them, you might not get much benefited by them. Such books give only short-term pleasure but they benefit us in no possible way.

• Only reading books might hamper your progress in life totally. If you keep on reading book and do nothing else, then you are not going to get much benefited. Variety is the spice of life and we should have it in our lives too.

Physically exercise in a gym or even jogging with a friend. Meet people and grow your social life.

5 Sneaky and Underhanded Methods To Add 30% More Time To Your Daily Reading Schedule.

by Brad Isaac on December 14, 2007

In my recent popular post The 26 Major Advantages to Reading More Books and Why 3 in 4 People Are Being Shut Out of Success, you saw that reading more books is one of the most powerful shortcuts to success.

But one obstacle to reading more books is simply finding the time to do it.  Well friends, put on your trench coats and fedoras and get ready to sneak some great reading in on the down low. 

Here are 5 sneaky ways to get more book reading into your day:

1.  Rip chapters out of your book – Hear me out before you make a judgement!  When I worked for a car wash years ago, reading books on the job was quite inappropriate.  So here is what I did to get around it.

I went to the local used book store and purchased some of the titles I wanted.  They might have cost $1 or $2 each.  When I got home, I picked the first book and carefully grabbed a chapter and ripped out the whole chapter from the seam.  If done carefully, the whole chapter was held together by the existing binding glue.   I repeated this for each chapter in the book.

When I was done, I picked one or two chapters and folded them in half and stuck them into my back jeans pocket.  The rest of the chapters, I put back into the original book cover and held it all together with a rubber band until I needed them.

In between rinse cycles, I’d just grab the current chapter out of my back pocket and read.  Boss-man was none the wiser.  

I would replace chapters I read back into the book cover and take the next chapter or two until I finished the book.  

Turns out, when I was done reading a book, I could fit everything back together and re-glue it using Elmer’s and the book was in rough, but readable condition.  Now, that I’ve refined a great bookbinding method, I’d just use that to rebind it good as new.

Caution: It goes without saying you should only do this with books you own.  Don’t rip up your friend’s book or a library book.

2.  Take a book with you into the bathroom – I am surprised at the number of businesses that do not allow employees to read.  It makes little sense to me considering books make employees smarter, why would you not want them to improve?  

Regardless, there is a “no mans land” where you can take a book where you won’t be disturbed – the bathroom.  

You may choose to read while you are doing your business or you might just want to close the door and read in the bathroom stall.  Since bathrooms are typically quiet, you can read for 10-15 minutes undisturbed.  

Since you’ll technically be in the restroom, your boss likely won’t be able to punish you.  Just make sure you don’t leave any incriminating bookmarks or hilighters lying around when you leave.  

3.  Make reading a high priority – If you feel like you aren’t reading enough now, the only way you will be able to change your behavior is if you make reading a high priority. I have already given 26 major reasons, some of the people commenting to the post have added some excellent reasons to the list as well.  

Reading good books often is a proactive skill to develop.  The late Earl Nightingale used to say that through reading and improving your vocabulary you communicate your education within seconds of entering a room.  Your skill with language is communicated immediately – so the impression you make is largely dependent on how “well read” you are.

Imagine sitting for a job interview and the potential employer choosing between you (who communicates intelligence) and a non-reader who doesn’t.  Provided the boss wants a smart person for the job they’ll know you are the right person in seconds.

4.  Scan Books for Your Phone or iPod – You can buy an inexpensive scanner that will convert your books to text so you can load them onto your cell phone or iPod for having a library with you at all times.  I have been doing this for as long as I’ve owned a Pocket PC – 6 years.  

Like point #1, I scan a chapter of a book and convert it to text with the free OCR software that came with the scanner.  Then I just copy it to my Pocket PC for reading at any time of day or night.  Since I always have my device with me, I can read while waiting for my meal at a restaurant, in line at the post office or just have some down time at work.  

5.  Use Text-To-Speech for On The Road Reading – Another tool I like to use that only gets better and better is text to speech software.  Great for reading blog posts in my car, you can also load E-Books chapter by chapter into the software.  This frees you up to read as you drive without wrapping your car around a tree.

The only possible downside, in my opinion,  is listening isn’t as mentally engaging as reading.  But it is still quite good.  

Currently, I am using Text2Go software with the Samantha voice you can get separately when you purchase the software.  The voices are lifelike and easy to understand.  The advantage of this program is it not only converts text to speech, it loads it automatically on your iPod or MP3 player.  Plus, there is a slick management feature that allows you to delete recordings you’ve heard and create custom play lists based on the text you are converting – useful when you are recording blog content.

 This post will self-destruct in 15 seconds…

Well, there you have it.  5 sneaky and underhanded ways to add more reading to your daily schedule.  Some are radical, some may cost money.  But all will make you better read and more successful if you only apply them.  

Before you add more reading to your schedule you have to see it as important – crucial even – to your personal success and enjoyment of life.  Until you do, then you probably won’t read much more than you are reading now.  

I am sure a lot of you who read this blog have other good ways of sneaking in some book reading on the sly, so please feel free to share in the comments.

There are many benefits of reading with children which will improve their academic abilities and quality of life.

Memory Improvement Techniques. . . Now your'e talking practical.

Memory improvement techniques are priceless. Embrace them, find out what fits you.

You may have been in situations wherein doing one chore led you to remember that you have to do another, which is waiting to be done. This can actually lead you to do a chain of events, and you would have forgotten what you needed to do in the first place.

The good news is that you can avoid that by implementing some memory improvement techniques.

I assume your have read the relation between your diet and memory, and that you are eating "brain food" and not "junk food".

Such situations can complicate life. Unless you have a clear mind, it can be difficult to get things by, in every-day activities. In latter part of your life, this can turn into a more serious problem. An alternative is to take up mental exercises that keep you mental fit and focused (like solving some crossword puzzles).

In a recent study published in the ‘Psychological Medicine’, individuals who have better memory, have a 46 percent decreased risk of dementia. They were mentally stronger in the latter part of their life as well.

How to improve memory?

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The first thing to do is to get more into relaxed state of mind.

Things just get into a flow when you are relaxed. period. Ask the professionals, or shall you take a look at them and watch their moves.

Anxiety and stress causes emotional block and things that you normally do well, cannot be done so well, as a result. In such situations, you need to seek help to clear your subconscious mind, through memory improvement technique that sends positive information into your subconscious.

In addition to such methods, you can make use of general memory improvement techniques that will help you in a practical way to keep alert throughout the day and in remembering things.

Types of memory improvement techniques

Mental clarity comes when you are able to remember things and operate well. There are many internet sites and books, which show you techniques of improving memory. These memory techniques have been well-researched and their results documented, to show proof of positive results.

Here is a list of some common memory improvement or concentration techniques that works for others, and may work for you too:

* Riddles – One of the oldest forms of memory improvement techniques was riddle. Solve the clue in the riddle with what you know, and get the answer. Simple! Only Not So! Considerable brain racking is required to find the small clue actually. Riddles with pun are very interesting and even amusing.

* Flash Cards – This memory technique can help students to memorize their subject materials. Subjects such as math, chemistry, physics, formulas, definitions, names of historical places and much more can be quickly learnt through these cards.

* Playing Crosswords – This is yet another interesting ways to job memory. You can find different types of

crossword puzzles available, based on subject of liking.

* Subliminal Messages – This is a very effective form of memory improvement. You write positive affirmative messages, which you read out everyday. The message embeds itself into our subconscious mind, which acts on it accordingly. The result is that you are able to do the things that you want to do, and have a very clear memory.

* Mnemonics – Memory work when you link one thing to another. This is what Mnemonic techniques do. You can remember a host of things by through the link system offered by mnemonics.

* Hypnosis – This is a very useful way of awakening the subconscious mind and improving mind by making the subconscious clear in its perceptions. Many people have reported that they have quit smoking, or lost weight through hypnotherapy.

Are memory improvement techniques effective?

Yes.

They are effective because they emphasize on using a particular strategy to enhance memory abilities. You work on a specific strategy such as flash cards or mnemonics, and your memory enhances because your skill is worked up, hence, you become better-able to remember things.

Importance and benefits of reading to children

Importance and benefits of reading to children. Spending time reading aloud with children is a time to be treasured. Travel with them via books into wonderful lands of imagination and fantasy.

Most people with young children have heard the words “read me a story!” They come with those little picture books and become fascinated while disappearing into those worlds of fantasy.

Unfortunately, by the time the children outgrow those picture books, many parents stop reading aloud with them. We should remember that there are whole new worlds to explore in books even as the children grow older. There are chapter books filled with many new places to enjoy with the same imagination they had when younger.

Again rather unfortunately, the emergence of things like the internet and television has in some instances stolen the time that might be spent reading with children. Those are treasured times. Bonding times. And times to share a great adventure with the young people in our lives.

At what age should we stop reading with our children? A good answer to that question would be “as long as they’ll possibly allow it, don’t stop.” It seems to often be the parent who stops doing this long before the child is ready to give it up.

In recent years, “quality time” has become quite the buzz phrase. What better quality time can be found than curling up with a child, no matter his or her age, and getting lost in a good book together? Grab some lemonade first in the summer and hot chocolate in winter, and plan a great evening of getting lost in a book!

There are, naturally, benefits that extend far beyond that very necessary time together. It will help the child develop a love of books and will expand knowledge and vocabulary. There are only pros to list and not a con to be found.

Some of us remember being read to only at bedtime, and then only until we reached a certain age. Reading

aloud is not an enjoyment that magically stops at a particular age, usually, nor is it something just for bedtime.

When a love of books and the written word is instilled, children will adore going to the library and choosing their own reading material. When a parent feels the child is old enough to hold the responsibility, a library card in the child’s name should be applied for.

At some point, you may want to ask the child to write his own story. You can bind papers together into book form and have him illustrate a book, or simple write, type, or dictate a story for you to write, depending on age.

It’s not too late to start reading aloud again even if you’ve put it aside when the child put picture books away. Go to a library or book store and allow the child to choose a great chapter book or two. Then prepare for an hour or an evening of pure magic as you enter the world of fantasy with a child.

|Learn to Read - Family Reading Time |

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A quiet time for family members to read on their own may be the only chance a busy parent gets to read the paper.

What You'll Need

- Your own reading materials.

- Reading materials for your children.

What To Do

1. Both you and your child should pick out something to read.

2. Don't be concerned if your beginning readers pick materials that are easier than their school reading books. Practice with easy books (and the comics) will improve their fluency.

3. If you subscribe to a children's magazine, this is a good time to get it out. There are many good children's magazines, and youngsters often get a special thrill out of receiving their own mail.

4. Relax and enjoy while you each read your own selections. A family reading time shows that you like to read. Because you value reading, your children will too.

|Learn to Read - Story Talk |

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Talking about what you read is another way to help children develop language and thinking skills. You don't need to plan the talk, discuss every story, or expect an answer.

What You'll Need

- Reading materials

What To Do

1. Read slowly and pause occasionally to think out loud about a story. You can speculate: "I wonder what's going to happen next!" Or ask a question: "Do you know what a palace is?" Or point out: "Look where the little mouse is now."

2. Answer your children's questions, and if you think they don't understand something, stop and ask them. Don't worry if you break into the flow of a story to make something clear.

3. Read the name of the book's author and illustrator and make sure your children understand what they do.

Talking about stories they read helps children develop their vocabularies, link stories to everyday sense out of stories.

|Learn to Read - Write and Talk, Too |

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|While reading with your child is most important, there are other activities that help to get |Activities: |

|children ready to read. With a solid foundation, your child will not only read, but will read with |Tot Talk |

|enthusiasm. |What's in a Name? |

|Learning to read is part of learning language. It's like a little leaguer learning to hit a |World of Words |

|baseball. The young hitter must learn to watch the ball when it is pitched, to step into it, and to |Book Nooks |

|swing the bat to make the hit. It's a single event made up of three acts. Baseball players learn to |Family Stories |

|do all three at once. |Now Hear This |

| |P.S. I Love You |

| |Easy as Pie |

| |Write On |

| |TV |

| |Make a Book |

| |Make Your Own Dictionary |

The same is true of learning language. When we use language, we speak words out loud, we read words on paper, and we write. This section has activities that encourage your child to:

- speak

- read

- write

- listen

Begin long before you expect your child to actually read, and continue long after your child is an independent reader.

   

|Learn to Read - It's Part of Life |

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Although the life of a parent is often hectic, you should try to read with your child at least once a day at a regularly scheduled time. But don't be discouraged if you skip a day or don't always keep to your schedule. Just read to your child as often as you possibly can.

If you have more than one child, try to spend some time reading alone with each child, especially if they're more than 2 years apart. However, it's also fine to read to children at different stages and ages at the same time. Most children enjoy listening to many types of stories. When stories are complex, children can still get the idea and can be encouraged to ask questions. When stories are easy or familiar, youngsters enjoy these "old friends" and may even help in the reading. Taking the time to read with your children on a regular basis sends an important message: Reading is worthwhile.

|Learn to Read - One More Time |

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You may go through a period when your child favors one book and wants it read night after night. It is not unusual for children to favor a particular story, and this can be boring for parents. Keep in mind, however, that a favorite story may speak to your child's interests or emotional needs. Be patient. Continue to expose your children to a wealth of books and eventually they will be ready for more stories

|Learn to Read - Talking About Stories |

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It's often a good idea to talk about a story you are reading, but you need not feel compelled to talk about every story. Good stories will encourage a love for reading, with or without conversation. And sometimes children need time to think about stories they have read. A day or so later, don't be surprised if your child mentions something from a story you've read together.

|Learn to Read - The More the Merrier |

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From time to time, invite other adults or older children to listen in or join in reading aloud. The message is: Reading is for everybody. 

|Learn to Read - How do I use this Article? |

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There are two types of activities in this article to help:

• make reading with your child enjoyable; and

• increase writing, talking, and listening to boost your child's love of language.

Most of the activities are for children who range in age from 3 to 10 years, with a few for babies. The symbols next to the activities can guide you.

| [pic] | Infant up to 2 years |

| [pic] | Preschooler (ages 3-5) |

| [pic] | Beginning reader (ages 6-7) |

| | Developing reader (ages 8-10) |

Enjoyment is essential in the process of helping your child become a reader. All of the activities are written with this thought in mind. So, if you and your child don't enjoy one activity, move on to something else and try it again later.

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So what really are the benefits of reading Bedtime Stories, Children’s Picture Books and Children's Stories aloud ?

Parents who read bedtime stories, children’s stories and children’s picture books aloud to their children provide a strong, positive influence and build a foundation for a lifetime of benefits.   

But what really are these benefits ?  What kind of difference would reading aloud really make ?

The difference is Significant and Real.

Here is a list of ways in which dedicated and continued reading of bedtime stories, children’s stories and children’s picture books aloud to kids will bring noticeable life long change to their lives and yours forever.

Did you know . . .

• In this day and age of hectic lives and busy schedules, reading together is a simple and enjoyable way for parents to take time out, focus on the family and unwind.  Young children need lots of special, dedicated time with their parents and family members.

• Reading childrens stories aloud to our kids is imaginative, can be interactive and lots of fun !

• Reading childrens stories is a wonderful bonding time that fosters meaninful one-on-one time and communication with our kids.

• It shows our children that they are important to us.   Actions speak louder than words, so forget the TV, chores, your boss and devote your attention to them.

• It molds our kids into becoming readers, and a child that likes to read significantly increases their potential for academic and lifelong success.

• Children learn how to read by being read to, which is an integral part of teaching our children.

• Reading aloud helps our children master language development, and listening skills.  It increases their attention span, and develops the ability to concentrate at length.  These are all learned skills.

• It develops children's ability to express themselves more confidently, easily, and clearly in spoken and written terms.

• It develops a child's natural curiosity, creativity and ability to use their own imagination !

• It expands their horizons, quells fears, exposes them to new situations, and teaches them appropriate behavior.

• Reading childrens stories to our children provides the best opportunities for true life teaching moments, which may be missed while in school.

• Reading picture books develops a young child's appreciation for the arts through exposure to many different styles of art and illustrations.

There is so much that reading bedtime stories, Children's Picture Books, Children's Stories aloud to our kids can do for them. Let's start reading together today!

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Reading Books to Babies

Jacob loves books. His mom knows this because when she sits down to read to him every night, he waves his arms excitedly.

His favorite page of "Goodnight Moon" shows a cow jumping over the moon. He squeals and reaches for the book every time he sees it. When she is done reading, his mom usually lets him hold the sturdy board book, which he promptly sticks into his mouth.

Jacob is only 6 months old, but he is already well on his way to becoming a reader.

Why Read to My Baby?

You may wonder about the benefits of reading to your baby. Clearly an infant can't understand what you're doing or why. But you wouldn't wait until your child could understand what you were saying before you started speaking to him or her, right? And you wouldn't bypass lullabies until your baby could carry a tune or wait until he or she could shake a rattle before you offered any toys.

Reading aloud to your baby is a wonderful shared activity you can continue for years to come — and it's an important form of stimulation.

Reading aloud:

teaches a baby about communication

introduces concepts such as numbers, letters, colors, and shapes in a fun way

builds listening, memory, and vocabulary skills

gives babies information about the world around them

Believe it or not, by the time babies reach their first birthday they will have learned all the sounds needed to speak their native language. The more stories you read aloud, the more words your child will be exposed to and the better he or she will be able to talk. Hearing words helps to imprint them on a baby's brain. Kids whose parents frequently talk/read to them know more words by age 2 than children who have not been read to. And kids who are read to during their early years are more likely to learn to read at the right time.

When reading, your child hears you using many different emotions and expressive sounds, which fosters social and emotional development. Reading also invites your baby to look, point, touch, and answer questions — all of which promote social development and thinking skills. And your baby improves language skills by imitating sounds, recognizing images, and learning words.

But perhaps the most important reason to read aloud is that it makes a connection between the things your baby loves the most — your voice and closeness to you — and books. Spending time reading to your baby shows that reading is a skill worth learning.

Different Ages, Different Stages

Young babies may not know what the images in a book mean, but they can focus on them, especially faces, bright colors, and contrasting patterns. Read or sing lullabies and nursery rhymes to interest and soothe your infant.

Between 4 and 6 months, your baby may begin to show more interest in books. He or she will grab and hold books, but will mouth, chew, and drop them as well. Choose sturdy vinyl or cloth books with bright colors and repetitive or rhyming text.

Between 6 and 12 months, your child is beginning to understand that pictures represent objects, and most likely will develop preferences for certain pictures, pages, or even entire stories. Your baby will respond while you read, grabbing for the book and making sounds, and by 12 months will turn pages (with some help from you), pat or start to point to objects on a page, and repeat your sounds.

When and How to Read

Here's a great thing about reading aloud: It doesn't take special skills or equipment, just you, your baby, and some books. Read aloud for a few minutes at a time, but do it often. Don't worry about finishing entire books — focus on pages that you and your baby enjoy.

Try to set aside time to read every day — perhaps before naptime and bedtime. In addition to the pleasure that cuddling your baby before bed gives both of you, you'll also be making life easier by establishing a routine. This will help to calm your baby and set expectations about when it's time to sleep.

It's also good to read at other points in the day. Choose times when your baby is dry, fed, and alert. Books also come in handy when you're stuck waiting, so have some in the diaper bag to fill time sitting at the doctor's office or standing in line at the grocery store.

Here are some additional reading tips:

• Cuddling while you read helps your baby feel safe, warm, and connected to you.

• Read with expression, pitching your voice higher or lower where it's appropriate or using different voices for different characters.

• Don't worry about following the text exactly. Stop once in a while and ask questions or make comments on the pictures or text. ("Where's the kitty? There he is! What a cute black kitty.") Your child might not be able to respond yet, but this lays the groundwork for doing so later on.

• Sing nursery rhymes, make funny animal sounds, or bounce your baby on your knee — anything that shows that reading is fun.

• Babies love — and learn from — repetition, so don't be afraid of reading the same books over and over. When you do so, repeat the same emphasis each time as you would with a familiar song.

• As your baby gets older, encourage him or her to touch the book or hold sturdier vinyl, cloth, or board books. You don't want to encourage chewing on books, but by putting them in his or her mouth, your baby is learning about them, finding out how books feel and taste — and discovering that they're not edible!

What to Read

Books for babies should have simple, repetitive text and clear images. During the first few months of life, your child just likes to hear your voice, so you can read almost anything, especially books with a sing-song or rhyming text. As your baby gets more interested in looking at things, choose books with simple pictures against solid backgrounds.

Once your baby begins to grab, read vinyl or cloth books with faces, bright colors, and shapes. When your baby begins to respond to what's inside of books, add board books with pictures of babies or familiar objects like toys. When your child begins to do things like sit up in the bathtub or eat finger foods, find simple stories about daily routines like bedtime or bathtime. When talking starts, choose books that invite babies to repeat simple words or phrases.

Books with mirrors and different textures (crinkly, soft, scratchy) are also great for this age group, as are fold-out books that can be propped up, or books with flaps that open for a surprise. Board books make page turning easier for infants and vinyl or cloth books can go everywhere — even the tub. Babies of any age like photo albums with pictures of people they know and love. And every baby should have a collection of nursery rhymes!

One of the best ways you can ensure that your little one grows up to be a reader is to have books around your house. When your baby is old enough to crawl over to a basket of toys and pick one out, make sure some books are included in the mix.

In addition to the books you own, take advantage of those you can borrow from the library. Many libraries have storytime just for babies, too. Don't forget to pick up a book for yourself while you're there. Reading for pleasure is another way you can be your baby's reading role model.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD

Date reviewed: December 2008

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Everyday Reading Opportunities

Everyday Reading Opportunities

Whether your child is a baby, a preschooler, or old enough to read independently, finding time to read is important to developing literacy skills. And there are many easy and convenient ways to make reading a part of every day — even when it's tough to find time to sit down with a book.

Finding the Reading Moments

Car trips, errands, and waits in checkout lines and the doctor's office are all opportunities for reading. Keep books or magazines in your car, diaper bag, or backpack to pull out whenever you're going to be in one place for a while. Even if you can't finish a book, read a few pages or discuss some of the pictures. Encourage older kids to bring favorite books and magazines along wherever you go.

Other reading moments to take advantage of throughout the day:

in the morning, before breakfast or getting dressed

after dinner, when kids are relaxed

bath time (with plastic, waterproof books)

bedtime

Reading opportunities are everywhere you go. Read signs aloud to your baby while you're driving. Ask your preschooler to "read" pictures on boxes at the store and tell you about them. And have older kids tell you what's on the shopping list.

Even routine tasks around the house, like cooking, can provide reading moments. With younger kids, read recipes aloud; ask older kids to help by telling you how much flour to measure. Give your child a catalog to read while you look at the mail. Ask relatives to send your child letters or e-mail and read them together.

Even when you're trying to get things done, you can encourage reading. If your child complains of boredom when you're cleaning, for instance, ask him or her to read aloud from a favorite book to you while you work. Younger kids can tell you about the pictures in their favorite books.

And make sure kids get some time to spend quietly with books, even if it means bypassing or cutting back on other activities, like time in front of the TV or playing video games.

Most important, be a reader yourself. Kids who see their parents reading are likely to join them and become readers, too!

Reviewed by: Laura L. Bailet, PhD

Date reviewed: February 2007

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All parents need a little advice now and then. Get the lowdown on parenting basics like discipline, homework help, and how to talk to your child about tough subjects, like sex, tobacco, and alcohol. Plus, find out where you can turn for help and support

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Creating a Reader-Friendly Home

KidsHealth>Parents>Positive Parenting>All About Reading>Creating a Reader-Friendly Home

A home filled with reading material is a good way to help kids become enthusiastic (and proficient) readers. What kind of books should you have? Ask your kids about their interests. If they're too young to have a preference, your local librarian can offer suggestions about age-appropriate books.

Here are some other tips:

Keep a varied selection. Collect board books or books with mirrors and different textures for babies. Older kids will enjoy variety: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry plus dictionaries and other reference books.

Kids can understand stories they might not be able to read on their own. If a more challenging book interests your child, make it something to read together. Younger kids can look at illustrations in books and ask questions as they follow along.

[pic]And don't limit reading material to books. Kids might also enjoy:

magazines (for kids)

audio books

postcards from relatives

photo albums or scrapbooks

newspapers

comic books

the Internet

Keep reading material handy. Keep sturdy books with other toys for easy exploration. Books near the changing table and high chair can be helpful distractions for younger kids at appropriate moments. Plastic books can even go in the bathtub. Keep books next to comfy chairs and sofas where you cuddle up so you can read after feedings and naps.

Create a special reading place. As kids grow, keep age-appropriate books and magazines on shelves they can reach in their favorite hangouts around the house. Make these shelves appealing and keep them organized. Place some of the books with the covers facing out so they're easy to spot. Put a basket full of books and magazines next to their favorite places to sit. Create a cozy reading corner, and encourage kids to use it by setting up "reading corner time" each day.

Keep it appealing. Make sure reading areas have good lighting. Change the materials often — add seasonal books, rotate different magazines, and include books that relate to what kids are interested in or studying in school. Decorate the corner with your child's artwork or writing. Place a CD or tape player nearby for audio books.

Encourage kids to create the reading. Set up a writing and art center and encourage kids to make books, posters, or collages that they decorate with their own pictures and writing. Kids love to read things they've written themselves or to share their creations with family and friends.

Think About Atmosphere

Other ways to encourage kids to read:

Give your child quiet time every day to read or write.

Limit time kids spend in front of a screen (including TV, computer, and video games) to help ensure that they have time for reading.

Read together. Offer to read a book aloud, or ask your child to read to you from a favorite magazine. Make a habit of sitting together while you each read your own books, sharing quiet time together.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD

Date reviewed: February 2007

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Finding the Right Read

KidsHealth>Parents>Positive Parenting>All About Reading>Finding the Right Read

Books make great gifts for kids, but it's not always easy to find reading material that fits a child's interests, maturity, or reading level. Before you set off to the bookstore or library, here are some guidelines.

Babies and Toddlers

Until kids are about 2 years old, think tactile and short. Thick board books with bright colors; bold, simple pictures; and few words are ideal. These books may include interactive elements, such as parts that move, items that invite touching, and mirrors. Books with different textures, fold-out books, or vinyl or cloth books also are appropriate for babies and toddlers. Books that can be propped up or wiped clean are excellent choices. Look for books about bedtime, baths, or mealtime or about saying hello or goodbye, especially if they're illustrated with photos of children. And if peek-a-boo is your little one's favorite game, books with flaps are a perfect choice.

Many older toddlers (2- and 3-year-olds) start to understand how reading works and will love repetitive or rhyming books that let them finish sentences or "read" to themselves. From colors to numbers to how to get dressed, older toddlers love books that reinforce what they are learning every day. And if you have a budding ballerina or animal enthusiast on your hands, look for books about these (or other) passions.

Preschoolers

Around the time kids are 3 or 4, they start to enjoy books that tell stories. Their increasing attention spans and ability to understand more words make picture books with more complicated plots a good choice. Stories with an element of fantasy, from talking animals to fairies, will spark their imagination, as will books about distant times and places.

Try nonfiction books about a single topic of interest that the child likes. Since many kids this age are learning the alphabet and numbers, books with letters and counting are ideal. Those dealing with emotions, manners, or going to school can help kids navigate some of the tricky transitions that happen during this time.

School-Age Kids

For kids entering school and starting to read, look for easy-to-read books with vocabularies they know so that they can read them independently. Many book publishers indicate the reading level of books on the cover and may include a key to help you understand those different levels. You can also choose books that are above a child's reading level that you can read to him or her.

Look for books that relate to the child's interests but also encourage exploration of new interests through reading about unfamiliar subjects. For example, if a child is interested in cowboys, look for books that talk about the days of the old west, what cowboys are like today, or historical fiction set in the nineteenth century.

Kids of All Ages

All kids love to giggle, so books of silly poems, jokes, or songs are sure to be a hit. Collections of fairy tales, children's stories, poetry, or nursery rhymes offer a wide variety within a single book. Wordless books with imaginative illustrations can be fun even for kids who know how to read. Looking at pictures and creating a story develops imagination and broad thinking.

And don't forget the books and stories you loved as a child. Chances are, you had good reasons to love them — and your child will, too.

Reviewed by: Gail S. Diederich, MS

Date reviewed: August 2007

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Helping Reluctant Readers

KidsHealth>Parents>Positive Parenting>All About Reading>Helping Reluctant Readers

For many kids, reading just doesn't come easily. Some kids have difficulty connecting letters and their corresponding sounds. Others have yet to discover that special enchanting story that grabs the imagination and shows just how fun reading can be. For all kids, though, being at ease with letters, their sounds, and words is an important foundation for learning throughout life.

Here are a few simple ways to help kids become eager readers:

Start with your child's picks. Comics or joke books may not be your first choice to cultivate literacy, but they can motivate kids to read.

Don't worry that these texts may not be substantial enough. They can play important roles in helping kids understand some fundamentals, like how events take place in a sequence and stories are laid out. They also help build vocabulary and show that books can be visually appealing. Once your child becomes comfortable with the experience of reading, you can encourage other literature selections with a variety of challenging content.

Read and reread and reread. Many kids reach for the same books over and over again. That's OK. Through repetition kids can master the text and eventually sail through it with ease and confidence. Each new reading of the book may also help them understand it just a little better. And that positive experience may inspire them to give new books a try.

Read aloud. By reading aloud, you can help build your child's vocabulary, show that you enjoy reading for fun, and help your child connect sounds with letters on the page. Above all, reading aloud provides together time that you'll both enjoy. And it doesn't have to end once kids get older. The comfort of a parent's voice and undivided attention is something kids never outgrow.

Create opportunities to read and write beyond the pages. Provide kids with many rewarding chances to read every day. Write notes and leave them on a pillow, in a lunchbox, or in a pocket. Ask friends and relatives to send postcards and letters. Leave magnetic letters and words on the refrigerator, and you may find kids spontaneously creating words, sentences, and stories. On road trips or errands, play word games that strengthen language skills. You might try "I Spy" ("I spy something that starts with an 'a' …") or games where you pick a category like "food" and then everyone has to name foods that begin with a certain letter. Kids often like reading signs seen while you're on the road, like those on restaurants.

Get help if you’re worried. If you're concerned about your child's ability or willingness to read, don't wait to get help. Consult with your child's doctor or teacher. If they share your concern, they may be able to suggest resources to help your child become an eager reader.

Reviewed by: Gail S. Diederich, MS

Date reviewed: August 2007

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Raising a Summer Reader

KidsHealth>Parents>Positive Parenting>All About Reading>Raising a Summer Reader

When the lazy days of summer arrive and the schedule is packed with swimming, camp, and family vacations, it can be a challenge to find time for learning.

But kids' reading skills don't have to grow cold once school's out. Here are some ways to make reading a natural part of their summer fun:

Explore your library. Visit your local library to check out books and magazines that your kids haven't seen before. Many libraries have summer reading programs, book clubs, and reading contests for even the youngest borrowers. With a new library card, a child will feel extra grown-up checking out books.

Read on the road. Going on a long car trip? Make sure the back seat is stocked with favorite reads. When you're not at the wheel, read the books aloud. Get some audiobooks (many libraries have large selections) and listen to them together during drive time.

Make your own books. Pick one of your family's favorite parts of summer — whether it's baseball, ice cream, or the pool — and have your child draw pictures of it or cut out pictures from magazines and catalogs. Paste the pictures onto paper to make a booklet and write text for it. When you're done, read the book together. Reread it whenever you need to fend off the cold-weather blahs!

Keep in touch. Kids don't have to go away to write about summer vacation. Even if your family stays home, they can send postcards to tell friends and relatives about their adventures. Ask a relative to be your child's pen pal and encourage them to write each week.

Keep up the reading rituals. Even if everything else changes during the summer, keep up the reading routines around your house. Read with your kids every day — whether it's just before bedtime or under a shady tree on a lazy afternoon. And don't forget to take a book to the beach! Just brush the sand off the pages — it's no sweat!

Reviewed by: Gail S. Diederich, MS

Date reviewed: August 2007

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Reading Books to Babies

KidsHealth>Parents>Positive Parenting>All About Reading>Reading Books to Babies

Jacob loves books. His mom knows this because when she sits down to read to him every night, he waves his arms excitedly.

His favorite page of "Goodnight Moon" shows a cow jumping over the moon. He squeals and reaches for the book every time he sees it. When she is done reading, his mom usually lets him hold the sturdy board book, which he promptly sticks into his mouth.

Jacob is only 6 months old, but he is already well on his way to becoming a reader.

Why Read to My Baby?

You may wonder about the benefits of reading to your baby. Clearly an infant can't understand what you're doing or why. But you wouldn't wait until your child could understand what you were saying before you started speaking to him or her, right? And you wouldn't bypass lullabies until your baby could carry a tune or wait until he or she could shake a rattle before you offered any toys.

Reading aloud to your baby is a wonderful shared activity you can continue for years to come — and it's an important form of stimulation.

Reading aloud:

teaches a baby about communication

introduces concepts such as numbers, letters, colors, and shapes in a fun way

builds listening, memory, and vocabulary skills

gives babies information about the world around them

Believe it or not, by the time babies reach their first birthday they will have learned all the sounds needed to speak their native language. The more stories you read aloud, the more words your child will be exposed to and the better he or she will be able to talk. Hearing words helps to imprint them on a baby's brain. Kids whose parents frequently talk/read to them know more words by age 2 than children who have not been read to. And kids who are read to during their early years are more likely to learn to read at the right time.

When reading, your child hears you using many different emotions and expressive sounds, which fosters social and emotional development. Reading also invites your baby to look, point, touch, and answer questions — all of which promote social development and thinking skills. And your baby improves language skills by imitating sounds, recognizing images, and learning words.

But perhaps the most important reason to read aloud is that it makes a connection between the things your baby loves the most — your voice and closeness to you — and books. Spending time reading to your baby shows that reading is a skill worth learning

Different Ages, Different Stages

Young babies may not know what the images in a book mean, but they can focus on them, especially faces, bright colors, and contrasting patterns. Read or sing lullabies and nursery rhymes to interest and soothe your infant.

Between 4 and 6 months, your baby may begin to show more interest in books. He or she will grab and hold books, but will mouth, chew, and drop them as well. Choose sturdy vinyl or cloth books with bright colors and repetitive or rhyming text.

Between 6 and 12 months, your child is beginning to understand that pictures represent objects, and most likely will develop preferences for certain pictures, pages, or even entire stories. Your baby will respond while you read, grabbing for the book and making sounds, and by 12 months will turn pages (with some help from you), pat or start to point to objects on a page, and repeat your sounds.

When and How to Read

Here's a great thing about reading aloud: It doesn't take special skills or equipment, just you, your baby, and some books. Read aloud for a few minutes at a time, but do it often. Don't worry about finishing entire books — focus on pages that you and your baby enjoy.

Try to set aside time to read every day — perhaps before naptime and bedtime. In addition to the pleasure that cuddling your baby before bed gives both of you, you'll also be making life easier by establishing a routine. This will help to calm your baby and set expectations about when it's time to sleep.

It's also good to read at other points in the day. Choose times when your baby is dry, fed, and alert. Books also come in handy when you're stuck waiting, so have some in the diaper bag to fill time sitting at the doctor's office or standing in line at the grocery store.

Here are some additional reading tips:

Cuddling while you read helps your baby feel safe, warm, and connected to you.

Read with expression, pitching your voice higher or lower where it's appropriate or using different voices for different characters.

Don't worry about following the text exactly. Stop once in a while and ask questions or make comments on the pictures or text. ("Where's the kitty? There he is! What a cute black kitty.") Your child might not be able to respond yet, but this lays the groundwork for doing so later on.

Sing nursery rhymes, make funny animal sounds, or bounce your baby on your knee — anything that shows that reading is fun.

Babies love — and learn from — repetition, so don't be afraid of reading the same books over and over. When you do so, repeat the same emphasis each time as you would with a familiar song.

As your baby gets older, encourage him or her to touch the book or hold sturdier vinyl, cloth, or board books. You don't want to encourage chewing on books, but by putting them in his or her mouth, your baby is learning about them, finding out how books feel and taste — and discovering that they're not edible!

What to Read

Books for babies should have simple, repetitive text and clear images. During the first few months of life, your child just likes to hear your voice, so you can read almost anything, especially books with a sing-song or rhyming text. As your baby gets more interested in looking at things, choose books with simple pictures against solid backgrounds.

Once your baby begins to grab, read vinyl or cloth books with faces, bright colors, and shapes. When your baby begins to respond to what's inside of books, add board books with pictures of babies or familiar objects like toys. When your child begins to do things like sit up in the bathtub or eat finger foods, find simple stories about daily routines like bedtime or bathtime. When talking starts, choose books that invite babies to repeat simple words or phrases.

Books with mirrors and different textures (crinkly, soft, scratchy) are also great for this age group, as are fold-out books that can be propped up, or books with flaps that open for a surprise. Board books make page turning easier for infants and vinyl or cloth books can go everywhere — even the tub. Babies of any age like photo albums with pictures of people they know and love. And every baby should have a collection of nursery rhymes!

One of the best ways you can ensure that your little one grows up to be a reader is to have books around your house. When your baby is old enough to crawl over to a basket of toys and pick one out, make sure some books are included in the mix.

In addition to the books you own, take advantage of those you can borrow from the library. Many libraries have storytime just for babies, too. Don't forget to pick up a book for yourself while you're there. Reading for pleasure is another way you can be your baby's reading role model.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD

Date reviewed: December 2008

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Reading Milestones

KidsHealth>Parents>Positive Parenting>All About Reading>Reading Milestones

This is a general outline of the milestones on the road to reading and the ages at which most kids reach them.

Keep in mind that kids develop at different paces and spend varying amounts of time at each stage. If you have concerns, talk to your child's doctor, teacher, or the reading specialist at school. Early intervention is key in helping kids who are struggling to read.

Infancy (Up to Age 1)

Children usually begin to:

imitate sounds they hear in language

respond when spoken to

• look at pictures

• reach for books and turn the pages with help

respond to stories and pictures by vocalizing and patting the pictures

Toddlers (Ages 1–3)

Children usually begin to:

answer questions about and identify objects in books — such as "Where's the cow?" or "What does the cow say?"

name familiar pictures

use pointing to identify named objects

pretend to read books

finish sentences in books they know well

scribble on paper

know names of books and identify them by the picture on the cover

turn pages of board books

have a favorite book and request it to be read often

Early Preschool (Age 3)

Children usually begin to:

explore books independently

listen to longer books that are read aloud

retell a familiar story

recite the alphabet

begin to sing the alphabet with prompting and cues

make continuous symbols that resemble writing

imitate the action of reading a book aloud

Late Preschool (Age 4)

Children usually begin to:

recognize familiar signs and labels, especially on signs and containers

make up rhymes or silly phrases

recognize and write some of the letters of the alphabet

read and write their names

name letters or sounds that begin words

match some letters to their sounds

use familiar letters to try writing words

Kindergarten (Age 5)

Children usually begin to:

understand rhyming and play rhyming games

match some spoken and written words

understand that print is read from left to right, top to bottom

write some letters and numbers

recognize some familiar words

predict what will happen next in a story

retell stories that have been read to them

First and Second Grade (Ages 6–7)

Children usually begin to:

read familiar stories

sound out or decode unfamiliar words

use pictures and context to figure out unfamiliar words

use some common punctuation and capitalization in writing

self-correct when they make a mistake while reading aloud

show comprehension of a story through drawings

Second and Third Grade (Ages 7–8)

Children usually begin to:

read longer books independently

read aloud with proper emphasis and expression

use context and pictures to help identify unfamiliar words

understand the concept of paragraphs and begin to apply it in writing

correctly use punctuation

correctly spell simple words

write notes, like phone messages and email

enjoy games like word searches

use new words, phrases, or figures of speech that they've heard

revise their own writing

Fourth Through Eighth Grade (Ages 9–13)

Children usually begin to:

explore and understand different kinds of texts, like biographies, poetry, and fiction

understand and explore expository, narrative, and persuasive text

read to extract specific information, such as from a science book

identify parts of speech and devices like similes and metaphors

correctly identify major elements of stories, like time, place, plot, problem, and resolution

read and write on a specific topic for fun, and understand what style is needed

analyze texts for meaning

Reviewed by: Gail S. Diederich, MS

Date reviewed: August 2007

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Reading Resources

KidsHealth>Parents>Positive Parenting>All About Reading>Reading Resources

You have a toddler who loves books and stories and may even be ready to read simple books but you aren't quite sure how to encourage that. Or maybe your school-age child is having trouble reading books for homework.

Regardless of a child's age or ability level, almost every community has programs and resources that can help. One of the best is the local library. Besides a wealth of reading materials, many libraries offer story-time programs for babies and toddlers, homework help for school-age youngsters, and summer reading programs for kids of all ages. Look for recommended reading lists, prize-winning and new books, and holiday or theme-related books throughout the year.

Also remember that the library offers more than books. You'll also find magazines, activity packs with puzzles and games that relate to specific topics, lists of recommended websites for research, and audio recordings of favorite stories. A librarian can make suggestions based on your child's interests and needs.

Nursery school teachers, childcare providers, teachers, and pediatricians are also good resources for reading information.

Elementary schools often have a reading specialist on staff. These professionals support teachers in the classroom by working on specific reading skills with individual students, assessing and organizing the reading curriculum, and acting as a resource for parents. Reading specialists can discuss your child's reading development and offer suggestions for activities to try at home. They may also offer parent workshops and provide information about community reading programs.

In many areas, schools and community organizations run literacy programs after school. The reading specialist or your child's teacher should be able to direct you to such programs in your area.

Lots of kids struggle with reading. The most important thing you can do is get help as soon as possible. If you're concerned about your child's reading ability, talk to a pediatrician, teacher, or reading specialist.

Reviewed by: Gail S. Diederich, MS

Date reviewed: August 2007

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School-Age Readers

KidsHealth>Parents>Positive Parenting>All About Reading>School-Age Readers

Listening and Learning

From kindergarten through third grade, kids' ability to read grows by leaps and bounds. Although teachers provide lots of help, parents continue to play a role in their child's reading life.

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A child first learning to read gets more information from listening to books than from reading them independently. This is especially true of vocabulary — your child will learn more about what words mean by hearing books read aloud and discussing words with you than from reading on his or her own.

And even as a child's reading skills improve, reading aloud together can foster a sense of closeness and help improve vocabulary and reading skills. Encouraging kids to talk about characters or share reactions to books reinforces the connection between books and their own lives. You also show that you take their reading seriously and care about what they read. Positive, loving attention from you helps your child feel safe, accomplished, and loved.

Your Growing Reader

Here's how reading usually progresses from kindergarten to third grade:

Kindergarten. Most kindergarteners are on the cusp of becoming readers. They "read" stories by looking at pictures and relying on memory. By the end of the school year they will probably know most letters and their sounds and start to read and write simple words. They might be able to read simple text as well.

First grade. In this year, most kids learn to recognize printed words. They sound out words, recognize some by sight, and know what they mean. Most first-graders can read simple books independently by the end of the school year.

Second and third grade. By this point, kids should be reading independently, using books to explore new words, learning about the world around them, reading aloud more expressively, and enjoying specific authors and types of books. Kids who are not making good reading progress may have a reading disability, such as dyslexia.

If you have concerns about your child's reading level, talk to your child's teacher, school counselor, and doctor to find out ways to address the situation.

What to Read

As your child becomes a more confident reader, continue to introduce a wide range of books. When it comes to reading aloud, look for two types of books — those that could be read alone and those that are above your child's current reading level. With this mix, your child can re-read some of these books independently, while you'll have to do the reading (or at least help) with the challenging ones that allow your child to enjoy a more sophisticated story and learn new words.

Let your child's interests lead the way when you are choosing books. Sports? Music? Dinosaurs? Look for books on topics you know are of interest and ones that relate to these things. For example, if you know your child is interested in whales, look for books that talk about famous explorers or historical fiction set on whaling boats. As your child gets older, you will find that he or she enjoys increasingly complex books that can each about the world and introduce social and ethical issues.

Talk about the books your child is reading independently and for school and about favorite topics and authors. If the author writes a series of books, encourage your child to read them all. Some kids enjoy keeping a checklist of favorite authors' books.

Other types of books your child may like include:

biographies of famous people

books about kids dealing with challenges

books containing plot twists or language play

mysteries

science fiction and fantasy

Another way to grab your child's interest is to pick books that have a personal connection. Introduce your childhood favorites and talk about why you love them. Your child may also like to read junior versions of the same magazines you read.

When and How to Read

The school-age child's schedule can be a busy one. You may be having dinner on the go as you scoot from soccer practice to music lessons. But if you can find 30 minutes a day to read with your child, you will help ensure future reading success.

Use the same strategies you did when your child was younger — talk about what you read before, during, and after, asking open-ended questions that encourage your child's involvement. Read expressively and with enjoyment.

But at this age, be sure to let your child read a book to you. Or you might choose to take turns reading.

If your child is reading and can't sound out a word, encourage him or her to skip it and read the rest of the sentence before deciding what word would make sense. As your child becomes a strong independent reader, you might allow some mistakes while reading, then ask questions to reveal them ("Do you think that word makes sense in this sentence?"). If your child seems discouraged or tired while reading, offer to take over.

If you are reading a longer chapter book over time, here are some tips for maintaining your child's interest:

Save questions for the end so your child can simply enjoy the story, but before you begin the next chapter, talk a little bit about what happened in the previous one.

Re-read lines your child found funny.

Let your child read too (if he or she wants to).

If a block of text is too challenging for your child, don't be afraid to summarize or skip over it.

Ask your child's opinion about a character's actions or decisions. What would he or she do in the same situation?

Offer your own honest opinions about what you've read, and ask for the same from your child.

Making Time to Read

Reading aloud isn't the only way to encourage kids to read. Provide other chances during day-to-day life, like cooking together and having your child read you the recipe. Or when you play a new game, ask your child to read the directions aloud.

Buy a dictionary for kids so that your child can look up definitions of new words, and help him or her look up the answers to questions in an encyclopedia or online.

Kids should have a library card and lots of opportunities to use it. Let yours make selections or ask the librarian for help finding books.

As your child gets older and spends less time every day with you, reading together can be a way for you to connect on a daily basis. Talking about books gives you a window into a child's imagination and thoughts about the world.

Reviewed by: Laura Bailet, PhD

Date reviewed: April 2006

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Story Time for Preschoolers

KidsHealth>Parents>Positive Parenting>All About Reading>Story Time for Preschoolers

Becoming a Reader

"Rattle, shake, screech, roar - who's knockin' at my door?" Matthew tears through the house, a sheet over his head. "Boom, boom, in my room!" he yells. "A witch is flyin' on her broom!"

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For the past month, Matthew has immersed himself in a world of Halloween books. Although he does not yet know how to read text, he spends time every day looking at books with spooky ghosts, goblins, and skeletons. He recites lines he has memorized from the many times his parents have read them aloud. And he makes up his own, like the ones above. All this adds up to one thing: Matthew is becoming a reader.

Moving Toward School - and Reading

Your preschooler knows a lot of things he or she didn't as a baby. Preschoolers don't read independently, but if they've been read to a lot, they know a thing or two about reading.

They know books are read from front to back.

Pictures should be right-side up.

Reading is done from left to right.

The language of books is different from spoken language.

Words have different sounds in them.

There are familiar and unfamiliar words.

All of these are emergent literacy skills - important building blocks toward the day when your child will read independently. How can you encourage your child to further develop these skills? Just keep reading aloud.

Choose lots of different books to read aloud to help your preschooler increase his or her vocabulary, acquire knowledge about many different topics, and understand how stories are structured and what characters do in them. Your child also will learn that:

Text is words written down.

Letters in a specific order form a word.

There are spaces between words.

Understanding these basic concepts will help when your child starts formal reading instruction in school.

When and How to Read

Many children this age have moved beyond the small world of your household to child care or preschool. They may even be enrolled in lessons or classes. Read-aloud time can be a chance to slow down and spend time together.

Try to have set times to read together. Before bed works well, as do other "down" times in the day - when your child first gets up in the morning, or after meals. Your child will enjoy cuddling with you, hearing your voice, feeling nurtured, and receiving your undivided attention.

Children between the ages of 3 and 5 are eager to show off what they know and love to be praised. Continue to choose some books with simple plots and repetitive text that your child can learn and retell. Encourage your child to "read" to you and praise the attempts.

Here are some additional tips:

Yes, you should read that book for the millionth time - and try not to sound bored. Your child is mastering many skills with each re-reading.

When you are looking at a new book, introduce it. Look at the cover and talk about what it might be about. Mention the author by name.

Ask your child why a character may have taken a specific action.

Ask what part of the story your child liked best and why.

Talk to your child about the parts of the story - how did it begin? What happened in the middle? What did he or she think of the ending?

Move your fingers under the words as you read to demonstrate the connection between what you are saying and the text.

When you come to familiar or repetitive lines, let your child finish them. ("I do not like green eggs and....I do not like them, Sam....")

Ask your child to point out letters or words he or she might recognize. You might also occasionally point to words and sound them out slowly while your child watches.

But even as you ask your child more complicated questions, your top goal should be to enjoy reading and have fun. Don't make reading a book like a test your child needs to pass. Look at the pictures, make up alternative words together, and be playful and relaxed.

Also, remember that reading comes to different kids at different times. Some children fall in love with books earlier than others. So if your child is one who doesn't seem as interested right away, just keep reading and showing how wonderful it can be

The Best Books for Busy Minds

Preschoolers like books that tell stories; they are also increasingly able to turn paper pages and sit still, so longer picture books are a good choice for this age group. Continue to read your child books with predictable texts and familiar vocabulary, but include those that have a richer vocabulary and more complicated plots. Consider reading chapter books that take more than one session to finish.

Your child is curious and likes reading books about kids who look and act like him or her, but also will want stories with kids who live in different places and do different things. Expose your child to many characters and talk about how they act and what decisions they make. Make sure that there are talking animals, monsters, and fairies in the mix to stimulate your little one's vast imagination.

Reinforce your child's positive feelings about something he or she has learned to do (kick a soccer ball, paint a picture) by reading books about children who have done the same thing. And pick books that will challenge your child and help further developing skills. Alphabet books, counting books, or books with lots of new vocabulary are all good choices.

Books about going to school - especially when your child is about to start preschool or kindergarten - are a great choice for kids this age. So are books about making friends.

Pick nonfiction books that talk about a single subject of interest to your child - owls, the ocean, the moon, Borneo - especially if they have great illustrations. And don't forget poetry - preschoolers still love rhymes. This age group is starting to enjoy jokes, so silly poems or songs will be a huge hit.

Wordless picture books that convey meaning through the illustrations are also a good choice. Once the two of you have been through a wordless book a couple of times, your child will most likely begin telling you the story - and may even be found "reading" the story to favorite stuffed animals or dolls.

Try homemade books too - photo albums with captions and scrapbooks captivate preschoolers. When your

child makes drawings, ask him or her what they are, label them, then assemble them into a "book" that you and your child read together. You can even laminate the pages and have fun creating book covers so that they will last for years to come.

Books aren't the only things your preschooler will love to read - magazines with lots of pictures and catalogues also are appealing. And ask people your child loves to send letters or postcards. Read these together and keep them in a special box where your child can look at them.

Other Ways to Encourage Book Time

Read-aloud time isn't the only opportunity your child should have to spend time with books - preschoolers love to choose and look at books on their own. Keep books in a basket on the floor or on a low shelf where your child can reach them easily and look at them independently. Keep some books in the car and always have a few handy in your bag for long visits to the doctor or lines at the post office.

At this age you might choose to foster independent reading by putting a reading lamp by your child's bed and letting him or her look at books for a set period of time before going to sleep. And kids who have just given up naps can be encouraged to spend "quiet time" looking at books on their own.

Most important of all: Remember to let your child catch you reading for enjoyment. Turn off the TV, pull out a book, and curl up on the couch where your child can see you - and join you with his or her own favorite book.

Reviewed by: Barbara P. Homeier, MD

Date reviewed: October 2005

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Storytelling

KidsHealth>Parents>Positive Parenting>All About Reading>Storytelling

It may already have happened: When books, toys, songs, snacks, video games, and DVDs have lost their charm, your child pipes up with "I'm bored! Tell me a story, please." Your mind blanks and your child looks at you with anticipation. What should you do?

You may not realize it, but you have a wealth of stories to share. You don't have to invent them on the spot. Personal stories, particularly from your childhood or from books you've read, are good starters.

Preschoolers and toddlers enjoy stories about characters from their favorite books. Whether you take Little

Chick on a walk through the barnyard or Firefighter Bob on an exciting drive through the city, don't worry too much about plot. Young kids enjoy the chance to share the chick's peeping or the siren's squeal.

Older kids can appreciate a funny twist, so take a favorite story and turn it upside down by changing the setting, characters, or plot. Make that zany cat with the big striped hat fly to the moon on a spaceship or come to your neighborhood and cause all kinds of problems. Make your child the main character in a wacky adventure that fits his or her interests (for example, traveling back to see dinosaurs or working as a train conductor).

Young kids enjoy hearing stories about you and your family. When did you lose your first tooth? Who was a favorite teacher? Thinking about Mommy or Daddy as a little kid may spark the imagination. Maybe you want to share the story, passed down to you, about the ghost that lived in your great-grandmother's attic. And there's nothing more delightful than a story about the time a parent did something mischievous and the consequences. Kids delight in these glimpses of a past that is connected to them.

When you tell stories, you show how to put words together to make meaning. You share something new about yourself that your kids may find interesting or exciting and that might be a springboard for questions and discussions. Most important, you nurture a love of language and stories that kids will have for life.

So take a deep breath and begin: "Once upon a time …."

Reviewed by: Gail S. Diederich, MS

Date reviewed: August 2007

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Toddler Reading Time

KidsHealth>Parents>Positive Parenting>All About Reading>Toddler Reading Time

Small Doses of Reading

Gabrielle takes a break from playing at her kitchen set and reaches into her basket of books. She roots around until she finds her current favorite by Richard Scarry, then delivers the book to her mother, who knows just what page to skip to. Gabrielle sits in her mom's lap as the two of them examine the page - her mom names the orange juice, milk, and waffles and Gabrielle points to the pictures.

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Soon, Gabrielle slides off her mother's lap and moves over to her stuffed animals. Her mom knows better than to try to finish the book. For Gabrielle and lots of other toddlers, these little bits of reading are just right.

Why Should I Read to My Toddler?

Studies show that children with active exposure to language have social and educational advantages over their peers - and reading is one of the best exposures to language.

Reading to your child lays the foundation for later independent reading. But before your child can read independently, he or she needs a set of skills called emergent literacy skills. These include:

having a large vocabulary of words and knowing how to use them

understanding that words are made up of smaller sounds (this is called phonemic awareness)

understanding that marks on a page represent letters and words

knowing the letters of the alphabet

You don't need games, flashcards, or special instruction to help your child gain these skills. You just need books, your child, and you. Reading to your child as often as possible is the best thing you can do to help him or her learn to read independently.

Helping the Transition to Toddlerhood

Reading aloud is also an important way to help your child make the transition from babyhood to toddlerhood. Between the ages of 1 and 3, your child will have triumphs and challenges. It can help for your child to hear stories about other kids and how they managed fears about what's under the bed and tackled the challenge of using the potty.

Your child will make big leaps in vocabulary during this time, and will learn about letters, shapes, colors, weather, animals, seasons - all of which can be reinforced through books. Choose ones with many pictures your child can point to and name.

But while eager to learn about the world and experience it, your toddler also needs a strong connection with you. Reading together regularly can strengthen that connection, helping your toddler feel safe and comfortable.

When and How to Read to Your Toddler

Experts recommend you read to your child as often as you can and that you strive to have at least one scheduled reading time each day. Choosing regular times to read (especially before naps and bedtime) is a way to help your child learn to sit with a book and relax. But you can read anytime your child seems in the mood.

If your toddler will let you, hold him or her in your lap when you read. It's a great spot for:

helping your child feel safe, happy, and relaxed

giving undivided attention

showing new things

inviting participation

You'll find that your toddler has a mind of his or her own and wants to be independent and successful. Nurture these instincts by offering three or four books to choose from, praising your child's selection, letting your toddler help you turn pages, and asking for help as you find things on a page. Your child will love to finish sentences in books with repetitive phrasing or rhymes.

Here are some additional reading tips:

Read whatever books your toddler asks for, even if it's the same book every night for weeks and weeks (and weeks and weeks).

Read slowly enough for your toddler to understand.

Read expressively, using different voices for different characters and raising or lowering your voice as appropriate.

Use puppets, finger plays (like the "Itsy Bitsy Spider"), or props while you read.

Encourage your toddler to clap or sing when you read rhythmic, sing-song books.

Talk about the illustrations with your child. Point to items and name them. Then ask your child to name them with you and offer enthusiastic praise as he or she does so.

Ask open-ended questions - "Why do you think the lion is going into the woods? What do you think will happen next?" This encourages your child to think about the story and to ask questions.

Substitute your child's name for the name of a character in the book.

Have fun! Show your child that reading is enjoyable.

Sitting Still Not Required

Trying to read to a toddler who just won't sit still can be frustrating. It's important to be patient and keep trying. Find a book or a few pages that capture his or her interest. If you can't do that, don't force the reading but be sure to try again later. Remember that toddlers love repetition - if your child seems uninterested in books, you may need to find a favorite and read it over and over again.

Some busy toddlers like to stand up while you read to them. Others like to look at a page or two before moving on to something else. Keep the book out - he or she may want to return to it later, which you should encourage. Don't worry if your child can't sit still for an entire book - his or her attention span will start to get longer soon. You might want to keep reading even if your child moves around. Before bedtime, allow your child to touch and play with favorite toys while you read aloud. The sound of your voice will be a soothing reminder of your bedtime routine and that books are a part of it.

You may find that your child sits still better while coloring or playing with a favorite toy while you read. Don't assume that because your child isn't looking at you or the book that he or she isn't interested or listening.

You want your child to have positive associations with reading, so if you are feeling tense or your child is resisting, consider setting the book aside and returning to it later.

If your child really doesn't like to spend much time reading, remember that reading to your child is just one thing you can do to encourage emergent literacy. You also can limit TV, talk to your child throughout the day, sing songs together, play rhyming games, and make up your own stories together. Don't forget to provide paper and crayons so your child can practice writing.

Choosing Books for Toddlers

Toddlers want to feel included and competent; choose books that your child can follow along with, especially those with repetitive text so he or she can fill in words. Maintain your toddler's interest by choosing books with small amounts of text on the page and books about topics that you know are of interest.

For younger toddlers (12 to 24 months) you'll want sturdy board books with pictures (especially photos) of kids doing the things they do every day. Books about bedtime, baths, or mealtime are all good choices; so are books about saying hello or good-bye. Keep active hands busy with lift-the-flap pages and textures to feel.

Toddlers from 24 to 36 months are beginning to be able to turn paper pages, so this is a good time to expand beyond board books. They are also beginning to understand the mechanics of reading and like books that are repetitive and easy to memorize so that they can "read" along.

By now you will start to know what your child's passions are - whether trains, trucks, or stuffed bears, find books about these things of interest. Children this age also like books about children, families, and animals.

Toddlers love to look at homemade books, scrapbooks, or photo albums full of people they know (try adding simple captions). Poetry and songbooks are good choices for this age group too. You may find that story time turns into sing-along time.

Making Books Readily Available

Read-aloud time isn't the only opportunity your child should have to spend time with books - toddlers love to choose and look at books on their own. Keep books in a basket on the floor or on a low shelf where your child can reach them easily and look at them independently. Keep some books in the car and always have a few handy in your bag for long waits at the doctor or lines at the post office.

Take your child to the library or the bookstore and let him or her select books to read at home. Many libraries and bookstores have toddler story times that your child might enjoy. And let your child see you reading - he or she is sure to imitate you.

Reviewed by: Laura Bailet, PhD

Date reviewed: April 2006

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Your Child's Handwriting

KidsHealth>Parents>Positive Parenting>All About Reading>Your Child's Handwriting

Before you read this article, quickly write the answer to this question: What is your favorite color?

This might've seemed like an automatic and mindless task, but your body and mind had to work closely together to complete a series of steps in the right order. You had to pick up a pen or pencil, hold it steady, remember what color you wanted to use as an answer, think about what letters appear in the word and in what order, move your wrist and hand in the right way to shape the letters, follow what you wrote with your eyes, and apply the proper amount of pressure to the paper.

Learning to Write

Even though we do it every day, writing is one of the most complex tasks that humans engage in, involving both motor and critical-thinking skills. It's not surprising that learning to write is a process that takes years to complete. It also happens in order, with each skill building on the last.

As with reading, kids are aware of writing from infancy, especially when they're exposed to it regularly. By being read to and seeing you write, your child begins to understand at a very young age that written words have meaning.

It's only a matter of time before kids start trying to create words on their own. All children start writing by scribbling, an activity most toddlers enjoy. To do it, they must use coordination to hold the crayon, keep the paper still, and apply enough pressure to make a mark on the paper.

As time goes on, with lots of practice, they'll start to realize that not only can they make marks to create a pattern, but by repeating the same movements, they can make the pattern again

Practicing Writing

At around 3 or 4 years old, kids may start to practice writing, and included among the scribbles may be recognizable letters. For example, you may notice your child writes all of the letters of his or her name in a seemingly random way on different parts of the piece of paper. That's because kids learn to write individual letters before they learn how to put them together to form a word.

As they continue to read and develop an understanding of how words work, kids start to understand how to group letters into words. Between kindergarten and first grade, most learn to put letters together into words and will use these words to label pictures that they draw. Kids this age usually use only capital letters and will not include spaces between words. They will also use "invented spelling," writing words with no vowels (for example, BBYDLL for baby doll).

Eventually, with practice and formal schooling, kids learn what are called the conventions of print — writing from left to right, the difference between upper- and lowercase letters, how to put spaces between words, and how to use correct spelling in most instances.

As your child gets older and develops more motor control, his or her handwriting will become smaller and neater. Between second and fourth grade, kids learn to write in cursive and will apply the conventions of handwriting automatically.

Importance of Handwriting

Even as we move to a society driven by keyboards, kids still need to learn to write by hand. Handwriting is so much more than simply putting letters on a page; it is a key part of learning to read and communicate. In fact, experts think that developing writing skills reinforces reading skills and vice versa. In order to read, a child needs to understand that letters stand for sounds and that the sounds are put together to make words. Learning to write letters is an important part of this understanding.

When preschoolers start imitating the letters that they see around them, they show that they understand the connection between the sounds they hear and the words they see on the page. When kindergartners use "invented" spelling, they're practicing writing words the way they sound, which helps them as they learn to read. When first-graders use words to create a poem or write about an experience, they're experimenting with language and sharing their stories with those around them.

As kids grow older and start to use a keyboard, the motor control and communication skills they've gained through handwriting will help them become more successful writers because they'll know how to transfer

their thoughts into words.

Handwriting is also important because kids are required to use it daily in school from kindergarten on. Children who struggle with the mechanics of handwriting may have trouble taking notes or tests or completing their schoolwork. This can affect both their self-esteem and their attitude toward school.

Encouraging Handwriting

An important part of helping kids develop early literacy skills is giving them chances to practice. As soon as your child is old enough to scribble (as early as 1 year old for some kids) offer some fat, chunky crayons or markers and a big piece of paper and let him or her experiment.

As your child grows older, create a special art center with lots of paper (you can bring scrap paper home from work or save junk mail) and many different kinds of art supplies like markers, crayons, colored pencils, and paint and brushes. You can even encourage your child to practice writing and drawing while you're outside, providing sidewalk chalk or a bucket of water and a brush to "paint" on the pavement. The more practice kids get using their hands in this way, the more they'll develop the muscles, skills, and coordination necessary for forming letters.

As your child enters school and starts practicing writing there, continue to find ways to practice at home too. Suggest writing letters and thank-you notes to friends and family. Ask for help writing a list or recipe. Buy a notebook to use as a journal and suggest that your child spend time at the end of each day writing in it.

If your child's handwriting continues to be messy and hard to read even after formal instruction at school, try these tips:

• Help your child take it slow. Many kids struggle with writing because they try to do it quickly. Encourage your child to take time to form the letters carefully.

• Explain that mistakes happen. Teach your child how to use an eraser.

• Reinforce proper letter formation. Find out from your child's teacher how he or she should be forming letters, and then encourage your child to practice writing using those patterns. Using lined paper can be helpful.

• Make sure pencil is properly positioned. Ideally your child will use what is called a tripod grasp. This means the pencil should rest near the base of the thumb, held in place with the thumb, index, and middle fingers. Plastic pencil grips sold at office supply stores may help if your child has trouble holding a pencil properly.

• Expose your child to lots of words. You can do this by reading regularly together, pointing out words that surround you (such as street signs or product labels), and by hanging up examples of your child's

• writing around the house.

It is important for all kids, even those who struggle to write, to practice using their handwriting. It is also certainly OK to have them start practicing keyboarding skills, even at a young age. But unless an occupational therapist recommends it, kids should not use a computer with a keyboard to complete schoolwork that their peers are completing by hand.

Signs of Handwriting Problems

Kids develop at different rates, and just like adults, handwriting varies greatly among them. Some kids have trouble learning the direction letters go in; others struggle to write neatly or use cursive writing.

Sometimes writing problems can be a sign of other issues such as developmental delay or learning disabilities. Often these problems have multiple symptoms, with writing being only one component.

Conditions that can affect a child's ability to write include:

memory problems that prevent a child from remembering spelling, grammar, or punctuation rules language problems that cause difficulty with word pronunciation, spelling, and sentence structure visual or sequential ordering problems that cause uneven spacing of words, and inability to make lists or put ideas in order dystrophic, a neurological disorder characterized by writing difficulties (such as distorted letters or misspellings) regardless of reading ability

• attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Children with cerebral palsy or Down syndrome also may have trouble learning to write.

Signs that a child may need additional assistance with learning how to write include a very awkward pencil grip, illegible handwriting, difficulty forming letters, an inability to concentrate and complete writing tasks, avoiding writing, many misspelled words, letters or words that don't follow correct sequence, incorrect placement of words on the page, uneven spacing between letters, a large gap between spoken language and writing ability, and an exceptionally slow and difficult time writing.

If your child is struggling with writing, you may choose to have him or her assessed by an occupational therapist. This can help you determine if your child needs actual therapy and tutoring or just some additional writing practice at home.

Learning to read and write is key to success at school and in life. So whether you work together to make a book or spend time on the weekend writing letters to Grandma, when you write with your child, you help him or her develop important skills.

Reviewed by: Wendy Harron, BS, OTR/L

Date reviewed: September 2008

What are the benefits of reading books and can it improve my social and speaking skills?

I've never been an avid reader; I only ever read books when I had to in school. Sometimes I'll come across a book that a movie was based on and read it, and enjoy it. Right now I'm half way through the Band of Brothers book.

Anyway, It always seems to be that book worms are very smart and articulate when they talk. I often mumble and sometimes don't get my point across when I talk. If I'm reading books, will it eventually improve my talking?

Additional Details

Not sure if it matters but I read the newspaper everyday from start to finish, although it's a tabloid. I should probably start reading broadsheet newspapers and read more of the discursive sections.

Best Answer - Chosen by Voters

It felt like I was the one asking that exact question. I'm actually trying to read right now to improve my mind, and to improve the way I talk and communicate to others. I also mumble and not getting my point across when I talk, and I'm trying to stop that (So you're not alone buddy). I hope reading can shape my personality and speaking skills. I actually think that reading really do help you with your speaking skills because when you read, it puts words in your head, and the more words you put in your head, the better you'll speak, the better you'll think, and the smarter you'll get.. Not only reading shapes up the way you talk, but also being active, and stepping out the house to see the world helps you communicate to others well too..Because when staying home too much, and watching TV.. Basically, you're feeding your brain with garbage, so you have to read, and go out and be active, talk alot, and love what your doing .. It can really change your life, and gets you to be very sociable and smart.

Also, it can make you tell stories to friends and family without forgetting what you're trying to say. Reading helps, and I'm planning to go Barnes and noble sometimes this week to purchase a good book. I hope it helps you too..

Other Answers (3

• People are infinitely different,they think,feel,react,have fun and live in infinitely different ways.Some of them had such a strong interest in letting others share their experiences and feelings.

There are still more people,the philosophers and scientists, with better abilities at understanding Life,Nature,People and the Universe.

People lived differently in different ages and their lives are written as History

The only problem should be that there are millions of books and you won't have enough time to read even a minute fraction of them

So choose the books which interest you ,the books you may need to grow your skills and be happy in the company of the wise and the learned men who will give you company whenever you choose,through their books.

• You know what is awesome about reading. The author is letting you access his/her mind. The more you understand others and understand how people interact the more articulate you will become. Reading is a powerful strategy. By the way, you are a reader, but a selective one. You have high standards about what you read. Good for you. Also there are many medias that can bring information to you. Use them.

• yes

because it will tell you things you can do to improve yourself

detail by detail

|[pic] |What are the benefits of reading? |

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Answer

There are a lot of benefits of reading... but here are a few:

It expands your vocabulary. It improves your spelling. It helps you understand different ways of life. It helps you understand different ideas. It helps you learn to communicate. It helps us find other people like ourselves. It can be fun to read new stories and find out what happens. It expands your imagination. It helps you know what other people know, so that instead of repeating their mistakes and experiments, you can expand upon them and go farther as a community. It helps you drive from one place to another. It allows you the freedom to find out what other humans have had to say over the years. It helps you know what drugs are in which bottles. It helps when you have to mute the TV because you can read the subtitles and still know what is happening. It helps you go on the internet and interact.

I could go on... for days, probably. But that is a start.

A few important 'practical' benefits of reading can be:

Reading can make one learn not only languages but cultures and rituals of civilizations by making an individual live the past, present or future of places he or she has never been to.

It is like a manual to handle a device called life where in there are so many possible situations and options where in what counts is the experience. Reading makes an individual benefit out of the worldly experiences of people and help shape an intellect out of that learning, help take decisions on occasions where in one has to be in the same shoes as that of any other individual already been there.

The Benefits Of Reading Books

Reading books is a habit that is popularly taken up by more and more people. It benefits our lives by improving our knowledge to a large extent, helping us relax and become more confident in communication.

Improving knowledge

Those who take up reading as a habit have more opportunity to gain vast knowledge. Routine reading assists people to expand their horizons since they understand more about the world, the people and the many events happening in every corner.

For children, a reading habit is even more useful in terms of boosting vocabulary and improving writing skills. Regular reading helps the kids enrich their limited vocabulary and the way to use it in the most precise way.

Moreover, reading different books written by different authors enable children to imitate the way in which these writers put down their thoughts. There are no activities that can contribute to support the teens in building, improving and maintaining their vocabulary and comprehension skills like reading books. It is one of the reasons why many schools equip their libraries with the abundance of books in order to encourage reading habits among children. The more they read, the more valuable information they pick up, then they are able to have a solid core of knowledge.

Researchers showed that teens that have reading habits can get better academic records than those who do not. So, parents and schools should give their children more opportunity to access more books, so that they are able to enhance their learning and knowledge.

Relaxing

Reading books is considered to be one way of entertaining or relaxing. People can enjoy an interesting book to relieve stress after a working day. It is also convenient for them to read books at home, in their car, on the bus or anywhere they like. A favorite book can aid them to feel comfortable, providing them more energy to continue working or doing other daily activities.

For some people, reading books becomes a relieving pill for their tired minds, which is vital for their existence. For teenagers, reading good books can bring a great deal of pleasure. Being interested in reading, they will avoid the addiction of online games or violent films which are tremendously dangerous for their development. Therefore, parents are advised to encourage the children to read as many books as possible.

Boosting confidence

Reading books brings more confidence to the readers in communication. When you have a solid core of knowledge, you will be able to make sure of what you are going to say or what you hear from other people. No one can look down on you due to your deep knowledge and correct information, which is important for your self-esteem.

It is undoubtedly undeniable that a reading habit enables you to gain admiration and respect from others. For the old, reading books plays an important part in assisting them not to be left behind of the young. By improving knowledge with the updated information that they get from books, they can keep their minds fresh and also be aware of the new things or changes in life. They still feel confident in communicating or educating their children.

Clearly, no one can deny all of these benefits that are offered by the habit of reading books. A routine reading can have positive influences on our lives by strengthening us mentally, spiritually and socially.

Reading Books - Your best companion is a book.

Your best companion is a book

An activity that brings about joy is for you to read a book and develop your mind through the acquisition of knowledge.

Al-Jaahiz, an Arab writer from centuries ago, advised one to repel anxiety through the reading of books:

"The book is a companion that does not praise you and does not entice you to evil. It is a friend that does not bore you, and it is a neighbor that causes you no harm. It is an acquaintance that desires not to extract from you favors through flattery, and it does not deceive you with duplicity and lies. When you are poring through the pages of a book, your senses are stimulated and your intellect sharpens... Through reading the biographies of others, you gain an appreciation of common people while learning the ways of kings. It can even be said that you sometimes learn from the pages of a book in a month, that which you do not learn from the tongues of men in a century. All this benefit, yet no loss in wealth and no need to stand at the door of the teacher who is waiting for his fees or to learn from someone who is lower than you in manners. The book obeys you by night as it does by day, both when you are traveling and when you are at home. A book is not impaired by sleep nor does it tire in the late hours of the night. It is the teacher who is there for you whenever you are in need of it, and it is the teacher who, if you refuse to give to it, does not refuse to give to you. If you abandon it, it does not decrease in obedience. And when all turn against you, showing you enmity, it remains by your side. As long as you are remotely attached to a book, it suffices you from having to keep company with those that are idle. It prevents you from sitting on your doorstep and watching those who pass by. It saves you from mixing with those that are frivolous in their character, foul in their speech, and woeful in their ignorance. If the only benefit of a book was that it keeps you from foolish daydreaming and prevents you from frivolity, it would certainly be considered a true friend who has given you a great favor."

Sayings that deal with the virtues of books

Abu `Ubaydah said:

"Al-Muhallab gave his son the following advice: `O' son, do not linger in the marketplace unless you are visiting the maker of armor or the book vendor."'

Al-Hasan al-Lulu'ee said:

"Forty years have passed, and I have not dozed off in the day or in the night...except that a book was resting on my chest."

Ibn al-Jahm said:

"If I feel drowsy when it is time to sleep — and wasteful is the sleep that exceeds one's needs — I take up a book from the books of wisdom and I find bliss in coming across a pearl (of wisdom).... I am more alert when I am happily engaged in reading and learning than I am when I hear the braying of the donkey or the shrill noise of something breaking."

He also said:

"If I find a book to be agreeable and enjoyable, and if I deem it to be beneficial, you will see me hour after hour checking how many pages are left, from fear of being close to the end. And if it is many volumes with a great number of pages, my life and my happiness are complete."

And the best, highest, and worthiest of books is:

Why Books Are Good for Adults

The Benefits of Reading for Grown-up Mental Health and Happiness

© Michelle Pannecoucke

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With age and an ever busier life, it can be difficult to think of reading as a good pass-time. No one; however, should miss out on the benefits of reading good books.

Reading is a great pass-time for children as they grow and mature. If the love for books that can easily be instilled into young children continues into adulthood, the benefits of reading will continue with it. Not only is it a healthy personal and family activity, but reading is an excellent way to keep learning and to exercise the mind.

Reading a Personal and Family Activity

Reading is an excellent personal pass-time. Silently reading a book or a magazine is a great way to leave the world behind and have alone time. Reading will take attention off the cares of life and exercise the imagination. And whether it is realized or not, reading is an excellent learning strategy that takes little effort.

Reading also makes a nice family pass-time. Choosing a book that every one can enjoy and reading it with the spouse, the children or both is a good way to spend a quiet evening. It is difficult with today’s television and movies to remember to take the time to have quiet evenings in this way. One would find; however, that reading is not only healthier than other media, but can be just as fun.

Classics to Contemporary

Reading classics is an excellent and interesting way to learn about cultures and history through the books that influenced their own time periods. This list may help in finding good, enjoyable classics. Some who are not great readers would not enjoy reading the classics for themselves, partly because of the language. In such a case, listening to someone else read may be more enjoyable, hence the family activity. Audio books are also a good choice and are ever-growing in popularity. Another great aspect to audio books is that they can be listened to while falling asleep at night, while doing chores or other duties around the house and while driving.

For those who like visual stimulation and don’t necessarily find that with only words on the page, graphic novels are quickly becoming part of the media. A graphic novel is not a comic book. Comic books are mostly pictures and partly punch lines that are meant to receive a chuckle. Graphic novels are fairly evenly split between pictures and words and are not necessarily just for the comedy.

 

Learning and Good Mental Health

Beyond the classics, reading is a great way to learn about almost anything, especially for readers who prefer non-fiction. There are mountains of non-fiction books that can and will educate on anything there is to know. People who are not great readers may find more motivation to read shorter and highly interesting non-fiction than the kinds of books an avid reader might choose.

As children mature, reading helps improve their language skills and build their imagination and creativity. The children also learn a lesson through the books that they are taught. These benefits do continue through the teen years and into adulthood, even after schooling is completed, if the love for books remains. Reading may also help prevent old age memory loss.

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         THE BENEFITS OF READING ALOUD TO YOUR CHILD

Reading to your child is one of the most powerful gifts you could ever give them.  Here are just a few of my favorite reasons to read a book to your youngster.                              

• Children yearn to get their loved one's undivided attention.  Reading a book out loud is all about snuggling, cuddling,  sharing, and bonding.  Book time becomes a daily routine that wonderful memories are made of.   Make it a bedtime tradition.

• Reading aloud increases a child's attending and listening skills. 

• Reading books aloud can be more exciting than any TV program!  Children get to watch a "live" storyteller with real-life expressions, vocalizations and gestures.  Your enthusiasm will surely transport them to special places and events.

• As a speech-language pathologist,  I'm in the business of helping children talk.  You'll never find my therapy bag without a book inside!  Books build vocabulary, comprehension, and language skills.    Reading aloud prepares a child to read and write.  I even use books to help children improve their speech development. 

• By reading the same story over and over you will soon find your young child taking the book and "reading" the story back to you or to themselves.  Memorizing a great read aloud helps your child learn sentence structure and the connection between the oral/printed word.

• Reading aloud improves your child's creativity and imagination.

• Reading aloud encourages your child to become their own storyteller.

• Books are great teachers of different emotions like sadness, fear, anger, and joy.

• Wonderful discussions can follow reading!  Ask your child questions about a story.  You will find your child beginning to ask you questions! This is an optimum time to relate a book to your child's own life or to personal issues at home. 

•  Click here to find numerous read-aloud strategies to use with the story CAN'T CATCH A BUTTERFLY.  You will also find loads of butterfly activities, games, songs and crafts to continue the learning theme.

  GREAT PARENT RESOURCE ON READING ALOUD

If you want a wonderful parenting book on reading aloud to children then here it is...  The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease.  It's packed with all of the whys to read aloud, when to begin, the stages of reading aloud, and a list of do's and don'ts.  He includes a list of favorite read-aloud books.  The best part about his handbook is that all of his information is backed up by solid research findings.  Don't take just my word for it!  Above is the link with a review article of Jim Trelease's handbook.  I also enjoyed the comments from parents, teachers, and extended caregivers that follow this review. 

Here is another article called Reading Aloud - Is it Worth It?  The author Jim Trelease talks with Education World about the value of reading aloud.

DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONE CHECKLIST

Checkpoints for Progress in Reading & Writing for Families and Communities was developed by a subgroup of the America Reads Challenge: READ*WRITE*NOW! Partners Group.  This resource easily explains the reading and writing skills children should attain at each age/grade level.  The checklist not only includes skill expectations but also includes strategies and a reading list to help your child at each developmental level. 

Their information also includes numerous literacy resources, federal sources for assistance, and sources of assistance if your child has a reading or learning disability.

Reading Rockets is a national multimedia project funded by the US Department of Education.  They offer numerous resources on how kids learn to read, why so many struggle and how adults can help.  This organization includes information on building skills at home, early signs of trouble and reading resources to supporty children in learning to read.

The Benefits of Reading Aloud

Thursday April 22, 2004

If you read to your child on a regular basis, it will benefit your child in several ways. According to "Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read", teachers should, "Encourage parents or other family members to read aloud to their children at home. The more models of fluent reading the children hear, the better. Of course, hearing a model of fluent reading is not the only benefit of reading aloud to children. Reading to children also increases their knowledge of the world, their vocabulary, their familiarity with written language ('book language'), and their interest in reading."

If you are interested in knowing more about children's books that are good read alouds, the reasons it is important to read aloud, and suggestions for doing it well, check out my Read Alouds Subjects directory of links to Guide articles and other online resources.

Then, let me know your reading aloud experiences by participating in the About Children's Books survey on reading aloud.

About The Partnership for Reading

The Partnership for Reading is a collaborative effort by three federal agencies - the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and the U.S. Department of Education - to bring the findings of evidence-based reading research to the educational community, families, and others with an interest in helping all people learn to read well. First established in 2000, The Partnership is now authorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-110).

The Partnership's mission is to disseminate evidence-based research, a focus that makes it substantively different from earlier information dissemination efforts and clearinghouses. This mandate to use evidence-based research as the basis for making decisions about reading instruction was advanced by the work of the National Reading Panel (NRP), assigned by Congress in 1997 to review the available research. Setting high standards for research quality, the NRP examined more than 460 studies to extract the essential findings about what has been scientifically proven to work in reading instruction.

The work of the NRP was just the beginning. Through ongoing, high quality research, our understanding of how to teach reading will continue to grow. The Partnership for Reading will stay at the forefront of that effort in several ways. First, The Partnership will bring the substantial body of evidence established by the NRP to the educational community through products and events that articulate the findings for a wide range of audiences. Second, it will continue to build the connection between scientific evidence and strategies used in classrooms and at home to make children better learners. And finally, The Partnership will add to the body of knowledge through continual review of new and existing research, using high standards of research quality.

Last updated: Tuesday, 30-Jun-2009 09:18:19 EDT

Facts About Reading Aloud

Source: Family Reading. NCES Fast Facts. National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education.

Reading to young children promotes language acquisition and literacy development and, later on, achievement in reading comprehension and overall success in school. The percentage of young children read aloud to daily by a family member is one indicator of how well young children are prepared for school. In particular, a mother's education is consistently related to whether or not children are read to by a family member.

• In 1999, 53 percent of children ages 3 to 5 were read to daily by a family member, the same as in 1993 after increasing to 57 percent in 1996.

• As a mother's education increases, so does the likelihood that her child is read to every day. In 1999, 70 percent of children whose mothers were college graduates were read aloud to every day. In comparison, daily reading aloud occurred for 53 percent of children whose mothers had some postsecondary education, 44 percent whose mothers had completed high school but had no education beyond that, and 38 percent whose mothers had not completed high school.

• White, non-Hispanic children are more likely to be read aloud to every day than either black, non-Hispanic or Hispanic children. Sixty-one percent of white, non-Hispanic children, 41 percent of black, non-Hispanic children, and 33 percent of Hispanic children were read to every day.

• Children in families with incomes below the poverty line are less likely to be read aloud to every day than are children in families with incomes at or above the poverty line. Thirty-eight percent of children in families in poverty were read to every day in 1999, down from 46 percent in 1996, compared with 58 percent of children in families at or above the poverty line, which is down from 61 percent in 1996.

Reading Aloud -- Is It Worth It?

Why do teachers read aloud to their students? Are the benefits of reading aloud worth the time? Many teachers believe reading aloud enhances classroom instruction and improves academic achievement -- and recent research supports their belief. Included: Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook, talks with Education World about the value of reading aloud!

"During read-aloud, we share the excitement, the suspense, the emotion, and the sheer fun of a new book and its intriguing or annoying characters," said Nancy Lacedonia, who teaches in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts.

Lacedonia recognizes the value of reading aloud and has often listened to the moans and groans of her students at the end of read-aloud time. She wondered How does the classroom teacher decide what to read to his or her students?

Intrigued by the benefits of reading aloud, Lacedonia created a survey to determine how teachers decide which books to read-aloud. She surveyed 93 Massachusetts K through 12 teachers working in urban, suburban, and rural school settings.

The results of that survey, published in "Why Do Teachers Read Aloud?" (The NERA Journal, Volume 35, Number 1, 1999), proved to Lacedonia that reading aloud is not a hit-or-miss activity. The survey showed that 70 percent of primary-grade teachers read to their students every day and 37 percent of secondary-school teachers read at least three or four times a week.

Teachers at all levels said they chose read-alouds that related to a theme or topic of study, and they placed a strong emphasis on fostering a love of literature.

READING ALOUD IMPROVES THE CLASSROOM CLIMATE

Mary Bowman-Kruhm, a faculty associate at the Johns Hopkins School of Professional Studies in Business and Education, teaches reading classes for prospective special-education teachers. "I read to my graduate students at the beginning of class…because it gives them time to get settled and to clear their minds of the day's activities," she told Education World.

"As a beginning teacher," Bowman-Kruhm continued, "I quickly became aware that reading aloud to my class had benefits... my students became very quiet, they heard some good literature, and they got through an entire book. One student said it was the first book he had read in its entirety since first grade."

What Bowman-Kruhm learned from reading to her secondary and graduate students is true of students at all age levels. Probably the most important daily activity parents and teachers can do with pre-school and kindergarten children is to read aloud.

THE PRINT-RICH ENVIRONMENT

Print-rich classrooms offer a variety of books that take into account the different levels of ability and disability in the classroom. "The wider the variety of books, the greater the variety of children whose interests will be either met or provoked," Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook, told Education World.

For instance, children with reading disabilities "build visual images before the printed word becomes meaningful. The child who cannot read or struggles with it can still find meaning in the picture of whales or wolves or werewolves. A child who can store those images in the imagination will be better prepared for the word w-h-a-l-e when he or she is trying to decode it. If there is no visual image to match the word, it's a foreign language immediately," said Trelease.

There is a downside. Without a print-rich reading environment, reading achievement flounders. In a preview of the 2000 edition of The Read-Aloud Handbook, Trelease quotes the results of a 1996 University of Southern California research study.

The researchers examined the print climate in classrooms of three California communities. They found that students in schools with book ratios of only three books to every one pupil (versus the national average of 18:1) had low reading scores and few students went on to college.

"As the research shows, low reading scores have…much to do with the print climate," added Trelease. "Readers raise readers because they do the raising in an environment that nurtures it."

INCREASE THE RATIO OF BOOKS TO STUDENTS

It's possible to develop an outstanding read-aloud program in an impoverished school district. "Reading to children costs nothing! No matter how poor the community, it costs nothing for a teacher to read to a class. They take their library card, borrow a book, and then read to the class. Money has nothing to do with it," Trelease told Education World.

Trelease provides tips for developing print-rich schools even if funding new books isn't possible.

• Learn about the research connecting the richness of print with good school scores.

• Educate school board members about print in the classroom. Since the board members vote on the budget, they must also know the research and the teachers' needs.

• Read more contemporary children's literature for their grade level. "You cannot order or request what you don't know about."

• Post a classroom "wish list" of books. Those lists will give parents an idea of what they can give to the classroom. Start a birthday book program, and ask parents to donate a book on their child's birthday.

• Learn how to write grants. Then look for funds to build print-rich classrooms. For instance, Microsoft gives away $2.1 million a day, according to Trelease.

MAKING READING ALOUD WORK -- THREE EXAMPLES

Julie Coiro, a special-education teacher and contributing editor for Suite , ties reading aloud to a curriculum theme. To give her students a broad perspective, she collects nonfiction and fiction related to particular themes.

"I like to pull in books at many different reading levels," Coiro told Education World. "This way readers will appreciate the occasional book that's too easy, but informative, and the book that's way too difficult to read but has great pictures."

Other ways teachers use reading aloud to enrich the curriculum include the following:

Read aloud for comprehension.

Repeated reading not only helps children learn to read but also has an impact on school success. Lifelong enjoyment of reading is directly related to daily reading. Children see the pictures and print up close, ask questions, and make comments.

"I read aloud to share wonderful stories, poems, and factual texts with children," wrote Sharon Taberski in an Instructor magazine article, "Motivating Readers" (May/June 1998). "Sometimes I select chapter books that are slightly above the children's independent reading level or picture books that lend themselves to stop-and-start discussions."

Daily read-alouds help children "internalize language and structures they'll apply to their own reading one day. My daily read-alouds also demonstrate how to understand what's being read."

Taberski suggests three comprehension strategies for class read-alouds.

• Strategy 1: Think about the story. "When I read the story, I stop at various points. My students and I then discuss what's happening and what we think will happen next."

• Strategy 2: Map the characters. "As we read the story, we continually refer back to what we already know about the characters and add new information. The children make predictions based on this information."

• Strategy 3: Map the story. The story map includes information about the characters, setting, problem, main events, and resolution. The students review the story map before reading a new chapter.

"Because I introduce these strategies during read-aloud, the children support one another and become confident enough to try strategies on their own," Taberski added.

Read to highlight math concepts.

"When I plan for reading aloud during math time, I choose books that invite my students to think and talk mathematically, that pose a problem, or that highlight a particular math concept or strategy," said Donna Maxim. She works at the Center for Teaching and Learning in Edgecomb, Maine. (See "Math Reading Aloud," The NERA Journal, Volume 34, Number 1, 1998.)

"Children's literature plays an important role in confirming the notion that math is more than computation on paper and provides opportunities for learners to develop the language of math," Maxim explained.

To help students predict the outcome of a book, Maxim asks what the title might mean? What problems might be posed? "I teach math concepts and strategies during math class and use literature as a resource when teaching math concepts," she said.

Two examples of books she uses to teach children to think and talk mathematically are:

• Counting on Frank by Rod Clements (Garth Stevens Publishing, 1991). The main characters are Frank, a dog, and his master. The young boy and dog make wild calculations and share bizarre information about many things. The book gives students opportunities to solve problems as a group.

• How Much Is a Million? by David M. Schwartz (Scholastic, 1985). The author explains large numbers to children by comparing the numbers to concepts familiar to children. "If you wanted to count to a million, it would take you about 23 days."

Involve parents and others.

Dr. Jimmy Cook, teaching editor for Teaching K-8, likes the warm, fuzzy feeling he gets when he reads to students.

In a Teaching K-8 article he wrote, "It's All in the Telling" (February 1998), Cook recommends that teachers build a portfolio of entertaining, informative and age-appropriate read-aloud books and invite a guest to read at least once a week. Likely candidates include parents and grandparents, the city mayor, and the chief of police. "Children become excited when a new face arrives to perform some act of kindness in the classroom," said Cook.

How important is reading aloud? Catherine Paglin seemed to answer this question in In the Beginning, an article published in NW Education Magazine (Fall 1998). "From being read to repeatedly, children learn that reading is enjoyable, that pictures provide clues to the story, that books and print go from left to right, that print represents words and meaning, that stories have a beginning and an end. By listening, watching, and asking questions, they add to their vocabulary and increase their comprehension."

Article by Wesley Sharpe, Ed.D.

Education World®

Copyright © 2009 Education World

The Benefits of Reading Books. The Shared Book Reading Method

The benefits of reading books are well known to many in the teaching and speech pathology professions.

On this page, I would like to introduce to you the idea of children's literature being used as the focus of language intervention.

The term 'reading books' refers to well written picture books, used as a language teaching tool.

There is a large amount of research data that supports the efficacy of Shared Book Reading. Even though the success of text-based intervention is well catalouged, it is not well known, particularly in Australia.

Certainly, the benefits of reading books are appreciated by most. It's recognised that a large percentage of a school child's academic education is centred around being able to read and comprehend books, both fiction and non-fiction texts.

Yet the method of using children's books as an oral and written language therapy tool is not practised widely by speech clinicians.

This website is a partial response to promoting this highly effective language intervention tool.

A Night on the Town

I recently had a night out with a friend at a Brunswick street bar in Melbourne. Some of the new bars in Brunswick street are amazing.

This particular bar was a retro 70's type place with deep couches, soft lighting, and very pricey cocktails. Toward the end of the evening I could barely move, and didn't really want to.

The conversations we had were many and varied. And yes, we solved...ahem...many of the world's most pressing problems that night.

Memes and Speech Pathology Practice

One conversation stuck with me in particular. It was on the subject of memes. Memes was first coined by Richard Dawkins in his book the Selfish Gene.

Memes are ideas or behaviors that pass from one person to another, sometimes generation to generation, often without reflection of their continued relevance.

Examples of memes include ceremonies, songs, dance, scientific ideas and theories. Memes can be a good thing. Passed on memes are sometimes necessary for a particular culture to help retain rich traditions.

Unfortunately memes can also lead to certain ideas and theories being 'set in concrete.' There are several memes that are well entrenched in both the teaching and speech pathology professions.

The defining trait of a meme is that it is resistant to change.

For a more eloquent and detailed discussion of memes in speech pathology practice please read Language Intervention for School-Age Students , pages 124 - 126 by Geraldine Wallach.

Traditional Language Intervention is like Windows 95

I like to compare traditional language intervention to Windows 95. Windows 95 was revolutionary in its day, but cannot really compare to Windows XP or Vista as an operating system.

It could be argued that the same is true of traditional language intervention. It still has its place and is still effective, but has been succeeded by a more advanced operating system: text-based intervention.

I was taught language intervention in a certain way, by both lecturers and supervising clinicians.

I was taught theories based on research of language learning systems developed, sometimes, 30 years ago.

My experience as a speech pathology student is reflected in the way current speech pathology students are taught language theory and intervention. I don't think much has changed in the past 10 years.

Of course, that's not to say that traditional language intervention has little benefit. There is much to like about it. I continue to use traditional language therapy tools, but I now use them as a complement to Shared Strategic Reading.

The two systems work well in tandem, so long as therapy goals are clearly defined. The benefits of reading books to children combined with traditional language intervention works very well.

The ideas I intend to present on this site I don't expect all to agree with, but that's ok. At the very least, it should provide a lively debate.

The reality is, language intervention is still in its infancy. It's early days. The more that researchers learn about language functions the more refined and improved language intervention will become over the journey.

I really believe that.

This is an exciting time for the speech pathology profession



The Benefits of Reading Books by Different Authors

There is nothing quite like sitting down with a coffee and grabbing that latest bestseller to get stuck into for half an hour or so. Books have the ability to transport us into different worlds and lifetimes, so it’s small wonder that so many of us enjoy them so much. They pass away the time we spend stuck on a train or waiting for an appointment, and they fit perfectly into a pocket or bag.

But how often do you go out with a book by one of your favourite authors? There's a reasonable chance that you tend to rely on two or three staple authors and rarely branch out to try anyone else’s books. While it is nice to buy a book that you know you are going to enjoy, it’s also beneficial to buy one that is written by someone you don’t know. And for that matter it’s also good to try different genres as well.

Why is this? The main reason is so that we can expand our knowledge and awareness of the world of literature – and that applies even if the books we read are popular fiction rather than the literary sort. If you’ve never read a horror novel before, why not give it a try sometime? You might just be surprised. And if you always stick to fiction and never reading autobiographies, you can enrich your views of someone just by reading about their life and what they have achieved in it.

Books are an extremely valuable source of knowledge and enjoyment, and by sticking to just a couple of authors or a couple of genres we are missing out on an awful lot of words that have been written for our benefit. Of course, you can’t expect to like every book you pick up, but even with those you don’t enjoy or even finish reading you will still be adding to your knowledge and expanding your whole reading experience.

If you like the idea of looking at different books, the best way to pick something unusual is to head straight for an altogether different section of your local store than you normally would. For example if you always make your way straight over to the romance section, why not try thrillers instead?

Once you have found a good uk book shop you should revisit it frequently to choose another book in a different genre. The great thing about this exercise is that you will discover new authors that you love which you wouldn’t otherwise have known about. After all, how did you find out about your current favourites? The chances are you did so after taking a chance on one of their books too.

The moral of the story is clear. You will learn far more and enrich your reading experience by expanding your horizons to include all the books you normally walk straight past. And that is always a good thing.

Daniel Collins writes on a number of topics on behalf of a digital marketing agency and a variety of clients. As such, this article is to be considered a professional piece with business interests in mind.

Read a Book a Week

February 9th, 2005 by Steve Pavlina          [pic] Email this article to a friend

In 1992 I first learned of the habit of reading one book every week (on average), with most of them being in the field in which you desire to develop expertise. This translates to about 50 books a year. Brian Tracy explains that this habit will make you an international expert in your chosen field within 7 years. Imagine if you work in sales. If you read 50 books on sales this year, will that make a difference in your success at selling? No doubt.

I decided to adopt that habit back then, and now a dozen years later, I have indeed read about 600 books during that time with most of them being broadly within the field of personal development. That’s a lot of books.

This includes books on health, diet, exercise, nutrition, weight loss, weight training, healing, martial arts, biographies, spirituality, self-discipline, time management, overcoming procrastination, relationships, marketing, selling, management, business, entrepreneurial pursuits, finances, emotional intelligence, NLP, courage, confidence, self-esteem, success, achievement, mental conditioning, goal setting, planning, execution, investing, prioritizing, generating income, writing, speaking, social skills, rapport building, philosophy, persuasion, motivation, humor, leadership, effectiveness, productivity, longevity, organizing, growth, contribution, love, optimism, inner peace, relaxation, meditation, thinking clearly, consciousness, visualizing, lucid dreaming, memory, excellence, passion, negotiation, winning, honor, awareness, masterminding, creativity, zen. I’ve also read many fiction books and technical books.

My goal isn’t to impress you but rather to let you know what lies on the far side of applying this habit. When someone suggests a new habit, I personally find it valuable to know where it actually leads if you follow it for 1 year, 5 years, 10 years. So possibly what I can share will be of some benefit if you’re currently on the front side of considering this habit.

Where does it lead? I thought it would lead me to acquire a great deal of knowledge about the field of personal development. That did happen, but it also expanded my ignorance. Imagine your knowledge of any field as a circle. Within the circle lies what you know. Outside the circle is what you don’t know. The edge of the circle represents your awareness of what you don’t know. As the circle grows in size, its area increases, but so does its circumference. So the more you learn, the more you become aware of what you have yet to learn.

There is a benefit to that though. As that outer circle keeps expanding, and you gain a better understanding of what you don’t know, you can be more selective in what you decide to learn next. Your awareness increases. You can use what you’ve learned within the circle to predict where you’re most likely to learn some powerful new insights at the edge of the circle. It’s sort of a process of learning how to learn.

One concept that really came through for me was just how interdependent all these areas of personal growth are. Often the problem we think we have is not the actual problem we need to solve. For example, you may be suffering from a lack of motivation, but reading about motivation and trying to motivate yourself may get you nowhere. In fact, that may actually further demotivate you. The real problem could be a lousy diet or a lack of exercise. Or it could be insufficient social connections, leading to mild depression. Or it could be that you’re stuck in a negative environment that’s reinforcing the wrong behaviors. Or if could be a lack of clarity about your goals. Or even a mixture of all of these. The obvious cause of the problem is usually NOT the true source of it. Poor diet and exercise, for example, is usually not the real source of being overweight. Those are usually just additional symptoms of a deeper issue. You may read books on diet and exercise, and then you go out and don’t apply them. Something deeper stops you from acting on what you know — that points to the real problem to be solved. So I’ve developed a more holistic respect for this field.

But the actual knowledge and the new distinctions you gain from reading are not the main benefit. My experience has shown me that the real benefit comes not from what you read but rather from the habit of reading. When you read a new book every week, you condition your mind to keep taking in new knowledge. Your thinking remains fresh and sharp. Your brain is always churning on new ideas, looking for new distinctions it can make. Every day you pour in more ideas, which your brain must find a way to integrate into your existing knowledge base. Frequent reading fires up your neural activity, even during the periods when you aren’t reading.

This is why when people ask me to recommend specific books to help them solve a particular problem, I often cringe. First, I don’t know that the problem the person states they want to solve is the real problem that needs solving, especially if I don’t know the person well. But secondly, it isn’t the reading of a single book that matters as much as the habit of reading every day. When you condition your brain to become comfortable with a lot of fresh mental activity, your thinking improves dramatically, even while you aren’t reading. “Use it or lose it” is very true. It’s easy to identify people who read a lot because every time you talk to them they have some fresh ideas or anecdotes to share. They keep trying out new perspectives, new ways of thinking. You know when you talk to them that there’s a lot going on upstairs. But when you talk to people who haven’t read a new book all year, their thoughts are more stale, and a month later they’re still saying the same things, complaining about the same problems, stuck in a mental rut. They haven’t grown much, either internally or externally.

Reading is a lot like physical exercise. Reading is a workout for the brain. You wouldn’t say, “Tell me what workout I can do on Saturday to achieve fitness.” And it’s just as silly to say, “Tell me what book I can read to overcome procrastination.” Just as toning your body requires the HABIT of regular exercise, toning your mind requires the ongoing habit of reading. And just as a lack of exercise will cause your muscles to atrophy, a lack of fresh mental exercise will cause your mind to atrophy.

This is good news, however, because it means you don’t have to stick with the habit for a decade or more to gain the most important benefit, which is the daily mental conditioning. Within a few weeks of maintaining the habit of daily reading, you’ll begin to notice some powerful results. An added side effect is that your self esteem will gain a boost as well, especially if you read a lot of empowering books. Taking in positive ideas every day serves to counteract more negative influences.

Reading a book a week is an enormously worthwhile habit. And it’s enjoyable too. All that’s required is to set aside 30-60 minutes each day for reading, sit down, and read. But the best part is that you can double it up with physical exercise. This morning I got up at 5am and did 20 minutes on my exercise bike while reading. Then I thought about the ideas I just learned while doing some weight sets. Tonight when I go for a 4-mile walk, I’ll listen to an hour of a new audio program I bought, and then I’ll probably read for another 30 minutes before bed. That’s 110 minutes of absorbing new ideas, 80 of which are multitasked. With such a daily routine, I always have an abundance of ideas for new blog posts, articles, speeches, info products, and even conversations. I can maintain a strong flow of interesting ideas going out because there’s a strong flow going in. Every week I’m making new distinctions as my brain integrates new knowledge with existing knowledge.

All of the above applies not just to reading of course but to the general practice of absorbing new information, including seminars, audio programs, meaningful conversations, classes, etc. Reading articles or blog entries online is also helpful, assuming you’re learning new ideas that challenge you and which make you think. If you forget it as soon as you read it, it won’t be of much value.

Read a book a week. Do it for a decade. You’ll love the results

BOOKS FOR CHILDREN, EDUCATION, AND HOMESCHOOLING

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materials you need in all subjects, preschool through high school.

THE BENEFITS OF READING ALOUD AS A FAMILY

Research has shown that reading out loud to children is the single most important thing a parent can do to prepare a child for future academic success. Here are some of the benefits of reading books to your children:

• Reading aloud helps to bond the parent and child.

• Reading aloud provides a shared family frame of reference and the material for family "in jokes" We got lots of these when we read the Ralph Moody series together.

• Being read to helps a child to understand the purpose of the printed word.

• Being read to builds a child's vocabulary beyond what he is able to read for himself, and provides the background for a new reader to recognize new words he is decoding because he knows what they mean.

• Being read to helps a young child learn the connection between the written and printed word.

• Being read to entices a child into an exciting world of learning and entertainment

• Being read to helps a child absorb great amounts of information about the world and how it works, especially if parents lead children into discussing what is read.

• Being read to develops listening skills.

• Reading books aloud gives the family an alternative to the media for entertainment.

• Being read to helps the child develop a taste for excellent literature.

One will only get the maximum good from reading aloud if books are carefully chosen and appropriate for the age and interests of your child. We will offer several suggestions in these pages, and there are also many books written to help parents choose the best literature.

One book I especially recommend is this:

Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever, by Mem Fox.

Trade paper, 156 pages of inspiration and instruction in how to make the most of reading aloud to all ages.

Cat#BTH-1952. $10.80-D

|Benefits of Reading Books |

|Date Published: 01st April 2009 |

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Author: Justin Kander

Reading is an important activity for many reasons, yet society often constrains people from reading as much as they should. With television, nightclubs, and other events, it can be hard to set aside time to read.

Anybody who knows how to read has the opportunity to enjoy reading. It is one of the most relaxing activities known to man, and there is an endless supply of books to choose from.

Reading provides knowledge that can be practically used in every day life. In addition, an extensive knowledge of classic books enables one to understand their reference in popular culture.

While books used to be moderately pricey, they can now be bought for just a few dollars. Being that everyone is looking for ways to save money nowadays, that is certainly a notable pro.

Since the government views reading as important, they have set up libraries where anyone can access books for free. Libraries also offer support in finding resources and various media beyond books.

Thanks to the Internet, it is not necessary to leave your house to read a classic book. Many novels have been transcribed and are freely available to read from one's computer. You can get access to more books by subscribing to a paid service.

Ideally, reading should be split between fiction and nonfiction books. Fiction is definitely more exciting, but it does not yield long term knowledge benefits like nonfiction books do.

It is a good feeling to look at a shelf of books and be able to say, "I've read every single one of those!" Not only is that knowledge externally useful, but it is personally rewarding as well.

The author owns Quality Cheap Books, a blog focused on reviewing a multitude of books.

|[pic] |Which are benefits of reading books? |

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When reading a book you gain not only knowledge but you share another person's view of the world.

A book can comfort and console and be returned to again and again, like meeting an old friend.

A book can grow with you. When you re-read it as your life develops, you will gain more and different insights into the work.

It can be a thing of beauty.

The Benefits of Reading

by LeAnn R. Ralph

A Country Life Article

Did you know that reading can keep your mind active and engaged well into old age?

Several years ago when I was working as a newspaper reporter, I interviewed a woman who was a resident at a local nursing home. She was 100 years old. And she read at least one book per week. Mostly novels. She was bright, intelligent and fun to talk with.

"I love to read. It helps me keep up with what's going on in the world," she said. "A friend of mine brings me a new book every week. I look forward to her visits and I look forward to the books. We talk about the books we've read."

Reading has other benefits, as well.

For one thing, reading a good story can help you forget some of the problems in your own life.

"I can't get around much anymore," said the 100-year-old woman who lived in the nursing home. "When I go somewhere, I have to go in a wheelchair now. But when I read, I can go anywhere, anytime I want. And no one has to help me!"

Reading also sets a good example for younger generations.

From my own experience as an English teacher, and as a substitute teacher in many elementary classrooms, I have observed that the best readers are those students who see their parents reading. And I'm not talking about only reading novels or nonfiction books. Newspapers and magazines are important too. It's the reverse of the old saying, "Do as I say and not as I do." You can talk about the virtues of reading until you are so hoarse you cannot speak another word, but if you do not read yourself, your actions will communicate more to your children and grandchildren about how much you value reading than anything you could ever say.

But why is reading so important? In this day and age, with television to give us news, and movies and videos to keep us entertained, who needs to read?

The answer to that is -- everyone.

Developing good reading skills does not only mean that you can read a novel or a nonfiction book or a magazine or newspaper, it also means being able to read -- and understand-- a credit card contract or an insurance policy. Or the directions for putting together that new shelving unit you just bought. Or the instructions for how to install a new printer to use with your computer. Or the qualifications you need to apply for a job or to take out a loan to buy a house. Or that article you found on the Internet advising consumers about the best, most economical car to buy.

Possessing good reading skills also means you can read and understand a product label. Or the directions for taking medication. Or the warnings printed on a bottle of household cleaner.

In addition, developing good reading skills means that you can think for yourself. That you can read about the advantages and disadvantages of anything from breast feeding to homeschooling to taking a vacation to Ireland. And then you make up your own mind about what's best for you and your family.

If the opportunity presents itself, I urge you to take the time to read to a child. Or take the time to let a child see you reading. Everyone will benefit. The child. You. Our society. The world as a whole.

Types of reading questions

1. Benefits of kids reading?  

2. How does reading benefit us?  

3. What benefit does reading give?  

4. What are the benefits of reading?  

5. Which benefits does reading have?  

6. The benefits of reading for children?  

7. What benefits can you see in reading?  

8. What are the benefits of news reading?  

9. What do you benefit from reading books?  

10. What is the benefit of mastering reading?  

11. Cite the benefits you ca get from reading?  

12. The benefit of reading economic information?  

13. What benefits does reading selectively have?  

14. What might someone benefit from reading a book? 

15.  What are some of the major benefits of reading?  

16. Cite the benefits that you can get from reading?  

17. The benefits of reading such as gain more knowledge?  

18. An article or a report on book reading habit in people?  

19. 3 ways that reading with a purpose benefits you as a reader?  

20. What are the benefits of reading to children at an early age?  

If You'd Like to Know Why Reading Matters

by Barbara Freedman-De Vito

Here Are Some of the Reasons Why Reading Is So Important for Children

Why Do We Tell Children to Read?

We're always telling children that books and reading are good for them, but have we ever really thought about why that's true? Exactly what do older children get out of reading novels? What do younger kids get from being read to? Does reading matter?

The purpose of this article is to say that, yes, it's true, reading really is important, and that there are some solid reasons why that is so. Let's begin with the practical benefits and then move on to the less tangible rewards of a life filled with reading.

Books Help Children Develop Vital Language Skills

Reading is an important skill that needs to be developed in children. Not only is it necessary for survival in the world of schools and (later on) universities, but in adult life as well. The ability to learn about new subjects and find helpful information on anything from health problems and consumer protection to more academic research into science or the arts depends on the ability to read.

Futurologists used to predict the death of the printed word but, ironically, Internet has made reading more and more a part of people's daily lives. The paperless society is a myth. The computer's ability to process and analyze data means that endless variations on reports and other types of documents can be and are generated. Internet, itself an enormous new source of information and recreation, is based on the humble written word. To effectively utilize the web and judge the authenticity and value of what is found there, both reading and critical thinking skills are of prime importance.

The more children read, the better they become at reading. It's as simple as that. The more enjoyable the things they read are, the more they'll stick with them and develop the reading skills that they'll need for full access to information in their adult lives. Reading should be viewed as a pleasurable activity - as a source of entertaining tales and useful and interesting factual information.

The more young children are read to, the greater their interest in mastering reading. Reading out loud exposes children to proper grammar and phrasing. It enhances the development of their spoken language skills, their ability to express themselves verbally.

Reading, by way of books, magazines or websites, exposes kids to new vocabulary. Even when they don't understand every new word, they absorb something from the context that may deepen their understanding of it the next time the word is encountered. When parents read aloud to children, the children also hear correct pronunciation as they see the words on the page, even if they can't yet read the words on their own.

Reading Can Open Up New Worlds and Enrich Children's Lives

As mentioned above, reading opens doors - doors to factual information about any subject on earth, practical or theoretical. Given the wealth of available resources such as Internet, libraries, schools and bookstores, if children can read well and if they see reading as a source of information, then for the rest of their lives they will have access to all of the accumulated knowledge of mankind, access to all of the great minds and ideas of the past and present. It truly is magic !

Through books, children can also learn about people and places from other parts of the world, improving their understanding of and concern for all of humanity. This, in turn, contributes towards our sense that we truly live in a "global village" and may help us bring about a more peaceful future for everyone. This can happen through nonfiction but, perhaps even more importantly, reading novels that are set in other places and time periods can give children a deeper understanding of others through identification with individual characters and their plights.

Through stories and novels children can vicariously try out new experiences and test new ideas, with no negative consequences in their real lives. They can meet characters who they'll enjoy returning to for comforting and satisfying visits when they reread a cherished book or discover a sequel. Books also give kids the opportunity to flex their critical thinking skills in such areas as problem solving, the concepts of cause and effect, conflict resolution, and acceptance of responsibility for one's actions. Mysteries allow children to follow clues to their logical conclusions and to try to outguess the author. Even for very young children, a simple story with a repetitive refrain or a simple mystery to solve gives a confidence boost. Children can predict the patterns and successfully solve the riddles.

Children are influenced by and imitate the world around them. While a steady diet of violent cartoons may have a detrimental effect on children's development, carefully chosen stories and books can have a positive influence on children, sensitizing them to the needs of others. For example, books can encourage children to be more cooperative, to share with others, to be kind to animals, or to respect the natural environment.

Reading Can Enhance Children's Social Skills

Although reading is thought of as the quintessential solitary activity, in certain circumstances reading can be a socializing activity. For example, a parent or grandparent reading a story aloud, whether from a traditional printed book or from an ebook, can be a great opportunity for adult and child to share some quiet, relaxed quality time together away from the rush and stresses of the business of daily living. They share a few minutes of precious time, plus they share the ideas that are contained in the story. In addition, older children can be encouraged to read aloud to younger ones as a means of enhancing their relationship.

At school or at a library story hour, books can bring children together and can be part of a positive shared experience. For some preschoolers this may be their primary opportunity to socialize and to learn how to behave around other children or how to sit quietly for a group activity. Make the most of this experience by encouraging children to talk about what they've read or heard.

Reading Can Improve Hand-Eye Coordination

It may sound funny, but ebooks can be a way for children to improve their fine motor skills and their hand-eye coordination, as they click around a childfriendly website or click the backward and forward buttons of online story pages. They may also be picking up valuable computer skills that they'll need in school and later in life.

Reading Can Provide Children with Plenty of Good, Clean Fun

I've saved the most important point for last. Reading can provide children with endless hours of fun and entertainment. All of the pragmatic reasons above aren't at all necessary to justify reading's place in children's lives. Stories can free up imaginations and open up exciting new worlds of fantasy or reality. They allow children to dream and may give them a good start on the road to viewing reading as a lifelong source of pleasure; so read to your young children every day.

Inspire your older children to read. Give them access to plenty of reading material that they'll enjoy and discuss it with them. Sample everything - traditional printed books and ebooks on Internet, classic children's novels and fairy tales, as well as more modern stories.

If a child wants to hear the same story over and over again, don't worry about it. Children take comfort from the familiarity and predictability of a beloved story that they know by heart. There's no harm in that. Reread old favorites and, at the same time, introduce your children to new stories. Your child's mind and heart have room for both.

So Reading Really Does Matter After All

There are so many ways in which reading continues to be both a vital skill for children to master, and an important source of knowledge and pleasure that can last a lifetime. Nurture it in your children. Make the most of all the resources that are available and waiting for you: printed books, online books, magazines and so forth. Encourage follow-up activities involving creative writing skills and the arts, as well, so that your children can reflect upon or expand on what they've absorbed and, at the same time, develop their own creativity. As you help your kids appreciate the magic of reading, you'll find that there's a whole wonderful world full of children's literature out there that YOU can enjoy too.

Barbara Freedman-De Vito ?2004

About the Author: Visit Barbara Freedman-De Vito's site at Children's Clothing, Stories and Family Gifts from Baby Bird Productions for baby and children's clothing all decorated with her colorful and amusing pictures. Many of the pictures come from her animated children's stories, available on her site on CDs and as downloads. Article Source:

[pic]

So what really are the benefits of reading Bedtime Stories, Children’s Picture Books and Children's Stories aloud ?

Parents who read bedtime stories, children’s stories and children’s picture books aloud to their children provide a strong, positive influence and build a foundation for a lifetime of benefits.   

But what really are these benefits ?  What kind of difference would reading aloud really make ?

The difference is Significant and Real.

Here is a list of ways in which dedicated and continued reading of bedtime stories, children’s stories and children’s picture books aloud to kids will bring noticeable life long change to their lives and yours forever.

Did you know . . .

• In this day and age of hectic lives and busy schedules, reading together is a simple and enjoyable way for parents to take time out, focus on the family and unwind.  Young children need lots of special, dedicated time with their parents and family members.

• Reading childrens stories aloud to our kids is imaginative, can be interactive and lots of fun !

• Reading childrens stories is a wonderful bonding time that fosters meaninful one-on-one time and communication with our kids.

• It shows our children that they are important to us.   Actions speak louder than words, so forget the TV, chores, your boss and devote your attention to them.

• It molds our kids into becoming readers, and a child that likes to read significantly increases their potential for academic and lifelong success.

• Children learn how to read by being read to, which is an integral part of teaching our children.

• Reading aloud helps our children master language development, and listening skills.  It increases their attention span, and develops the ability to concentrate at length.  These are all learned skills.

• It develops children's ability to express themselves more confidently, easily, and clearly in spoken and written terms.

• It develops a child's natural curiosity, creativity and ability to use their own imagination !

• It expands their horizons, quells fears, exposes them to new situations, and teaches them appropriate behavior.

• Reading childrens stories to our children provides the best opportunities for true life teaching moments, which may be missed while in school.

• Reading picture books develops a young child's appreciation for the arts through exposure to many different styles of art

Benefits Of Reading

What are the benefits of reading?

There are a lot of benefits of reading... but here are a few:

It expands your vocabulary. It improves your spelling. It helps you understand different ways of life. It helps you understand different ideas. It helps you learn to communicate. It helps us find other people like ourselves. It can be fun to read new stories and find out what happens. It expands your imagination. It helps you know what other people know, so that instead of repeating their mistakes and experiments, you can expand upon them and go farther as a community. It helps you drive from one place to another. It allows you the freedom to find out what other humans have had to say over the years. It helps you know what drugs are in which bottles. It helps when you have to mute the TV because you can read the subtitles and still know what is happening. It helps you go on the internet and interact.

I could go on... for days, probably. But that is a start.

A few important 'practical' benefits of reading can be:

Reading can make one learn not only languages but cultures and rituals of civilizations by making an individual live the past, present or future of places he or she has never been to.

It is like a manual to handle a device called life where in there are so many possible situations and options where in what counts is the experience. Reading makes an individual benefit out of the worldly experiences of people and help shape an intellect out of that learning, help take decisions on occasions where in one has to be in the same shoes as that of any other individual already been there.

Who Will Benefit from Reading This Book?

Introduction

As a large percentage of its workforce nears retirement age, American business now has an opportunity to both save billions of dollars by effectively managing baby boomer retirements and, at the same time, offer many older boomers what they want in terms of a happy and fulfilled life in their 60s and 70s. This book tells how.

The oldest of the 76 million people who make up the baby boomer generation are reaching ages where retirement is an option. In many companies 50 percent of managers and key professionals will be eligible to retire by 2010, and 70 percent by 2015. If these and other members of the boomer generation choose to leave the workforce en masse over the next few years, organizations will be facing a severe loss of key leadership knowledge, skills, and contacts. Talent is already scarce for many organizations, and the imminent boomer exodus will make it even more so. Companies will not be able to rely on the next generation to pick up the slack—the Generation X cohort following the baby boomers is one-quarter smaller and not nearly as experienced. With suitable replacements sparse, many open jobs will go unfilled for long periods or be outsourced. Recruiting and training costs will rise sharply because finding experienced candidates will be more difficult, and many new hires will require considerable time to ramp up and become productive. 

Little known to most people is that, concurrent with the potential boomer retirements, three other scenarios are unfolding that will have a powerful impact on American businesses in the near term:

1. In terms of life expectancy and health, baby boomers at 70 will be like their parents and grandparents were in their 50s.

2. Full retirement is not in the cards for most baby boomers. 

3. Many boomers will be able to collect pensions and still work for their career companies, which will provide an end-of-career bonus for those who stay on the job.

Let's take a closer look at each of these scenarios:

1. In terms of life expectancy and health, baby boomers at 70 will be like their parents and grandparents were in their 50s.

The projected life expectancy of a baby boomer who is 60 years old is 83.1 For a married couple at 65, there is a greater than 50 percent chance that one spouse will live to be 90 or older.2 Medical research consistently predicts that 75 to 80 percent of baby boomers will be healthy enough to continue working well into their 70s due to better health care and less physically demanding work.3 Of course, boomers will experience the usual problems associated with aging: reduced strength and endurance, slower reflexes, and a decline in sensory functions. But they should be in substantially better physical shape than their parents were at the same age because they likely have taken better care of themselves. For example, research by the Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute (a large U.K. survey research organization) found that people in their 70s today are as active in sports and other outdoor activities as were people in their 50s, 30 years ago.4

And that's not all. For the last several decades, businesses have modified their work environments to become more physically accessible by replacing or supplementing stairs with walkways or ramps, improving lighting, and installing doors that open automatically. Also, today's computers and modern communication technologies afford older employees the opportunity to do some or all of their work from home. In addition, modern medicine has enabled older people to restore their bodies with new hips and knees and by medical treatments that keep arthritis and other ailments under control.

2. Full retirement is not in the cards for most baby boomers.

Forty-three percent of baby boomers don't have sufficient savings or pension income to retire at anything approaching the lifestyle they would like.5 For almost all boomers, retirement income will be less secure as more organizations switch from defined benefit pension plans to 401(k) and other defined contribution plans. Even people with a seemingly secure retirement income will be asking themselves, "What if my company goes bankrupt and dumps my defined benefit plan onto the federal government, where the payouts won't be as much as I have planned for?" Many baby boomers will seek additional security simply by working longer. 

The fear of rising health care costs and of the possible cancellation or downscaling of retirement health care plans will force many older boomers to work longer to maintain and save money for health care coverage for their retirement.

In addition to financial and health care issues, many individuals will miss the challenge and camaraderie of the work environment.6 Between 60 and 80 percent of baby boomers say they plan to continue to work into their 60s and 70s, in either a full- or part-time position, in their career organization or elsewhere.7

3. Many boomers will be able to collect pensions and still work for their career companies. 

Currently, less than 14 percent of people working past 65 do so in their career companies.8 This lack of employee retention has often been the result of defined benefit pension plans that have forced people to leave their career companies in order to collect their pension benefits. But things are changing. People over 65 now can collect their Social Security pensions while they continue to work in any job, including their current one. Those in organizations with defined contribution plans, such as 401(k) plans, often can start drawing cash when they reach 59½ while staying in their current job. Retirement-eligible people in organizations that have amended their company's defined benefit plans (an option available January 1, 2007, under provisions of the Pension Protection Act) are able to collect their pensions upon reaching age 62 while they continue to work with their career employers.

People who collect their company's defined benefit pensions and Social Security benefits while they are still working will feel as if they've received a big pay increase, just in time to help them top off their personal retirement funds. This 2006 law will allow more people to accept part-time employment with their career organization because they will suffer no loss of total income as Social Security and/or their company pension will make up the difference. People's view of staying full-time or part-time with their career companies will change significantly.

Bottom Line: American businesses can survive and thrive during the deflation of the baby boomer bubble by retaining or rehiring select older individuals. 

Of those who want to continue working, 43 percent would like to continue at their career company if arrangements can be made.9 If boomers stay with their career company or return to it after formal retirement instead of giving up paid work altogether or taking a job with another organization, American businesses will reap many benefits. They will:

• Gain time for succession management programs to grow backups with the skills, knowledge, and experience to successfully assume higher-level or key contributor positions. 

• Retain key people with critical knowledge, contacts, and experience until those assets can be shared with others or documented.

• Keep people in difficult-to-fill jobs, saving considerable capital by delaying recruitment, selection, on-boarding, and training costs.

• Meet the needs of the growing number of people who either don't want to or can't afford to retire.

There also would be important benefits realized by the U.S. government in the form of substantially reduced deficits in Social Security and Medicare.

However, organizations will be faced with some tough tasks. They will need to:

• Identify select older employees with unique skills, knowledge, and contacts, and then offer them special encouragement to either stay at or rejoin the organization.

• Create positions and working conditions that will be attractive to older workers and tailored to their needs and abilities. This means creating transition-to-retirement jobs that will give older workers more flexibility, different challenges, and other similar incentives.

• Foster a work environment that is conducive to the success, safety, and health of older workers.

• Ensure that leaders have the skills to meet older workers' special needs and to understand their unique situations.

• Deal with the under-performance of a small percentage of older workers who otherwise would have been allowed to coast to retirement under defined benefit plans. Because there soon will be no "normal retirement age," these older underachievers will have to be either remotivated or culled from the organization. Unquestionably, this will be quite difficult for most leaders and most organizations. 

• Make themselves more attractive to older workers by providing benefits that will meet their special needs.

Organizations that can successfully manage baby boomer retirements in a cost-effective, legally acceptable way will wield a significant advantage over their competitors. The key to the success of these organizations will be Retirement ManagementSM.

Retirement ManagementSM

For years, organizations have been concerned about succession management (i.e., growing their own backups for positions) and retention management (i.e., concentrating on keeping key employees at all ages and levels from moving on to other organizations), but they haven't spent much effort on doing anything about retirement-age workers, particularly trying to get select older workers to stay on the job longer. Historically, most companies have felt this was a waste of time, given the strong economic incentive to leave provided by defined benefit plans.

Retirement Management is not about talking people out of retirement or starting their own business. It is about giving the large number of potential retirees who would like to continue contributing to their present organization's success the opportunity and the accommodations to do so. And, it's about organizations growing more successful through better utilization of their seasoned talent.

Admittedly, Retirement Management is a new concept; most organizations have never tried it. Because they've basked in a steady supply of replacement workers, they've often overlooked current and recently retired older workers as a valued resource. However, given the imminent demographic shifts, they no longer will have this luxury. 

Why Now?

In 2000 Development Dimensions International, Inc. (DDI), published Grow Your Own Leaders, a book that examined the projected impact of baby boomer retirements at senior management levels and implored organizations to take immediate action to prepare an in-house cadre of individuals (known as an Acceleration Pool®) to assume the soon-to-be-vacant executive positions. The availability of a "ready to go" Acceleration Pool would keep organizations from trolling for senior leadership talent in an increasingly tight and expensive job market.

While "grow your own" remains a solid strategy—at all levels and at all times—most organizations won't be ready in time to meet the boomer retirement years. They'll need more time for this strategy to take root. I feel that companies can acquire this time by retaining certain people beyond their normal retirement age and, in some situations, by either rehiring individuals who have retired or hiring older workers from the open market.

Research Basis for 70: The New 50

In addition to published research studies on issues related to older workers, 70: The New 50 is based on the following unique research done by DDI. 

(A description of this DDI research is presented at the end of this book.)

Chapter 7, which projects what baby boomers will be like as employees in their 60s and 70s, is based on a series of large-scale studies from a wide variety of U.S. organizations. In these studies DDI collected supervisor ratings of thousands of their direct reports and obtained test and questionnaire responses from more than 23,000 job incumbents and job applicants. 

Chapters 8, 9, and 10, which deal with leading and managing older individuals, are based on questionnaire responses from more than 100,000 individuals throughout the United States as well as on DDI's experience in providing leadership training to more than 8 million leaders.

Chapter 11, which examines selection issues, is based on research over a 37-year period involving thousands of organizations and DDI's experience in training more than 5 million supervisors, managers, and executives in interviewing and selection skills. 

In addition to this data, my associates at DDI and I interviewed more than 300 people over 60 about retirement and work issues, 20 managers with experience in leading older workers, and 50 HR managers with experience meeting the needs of older workers.10

A surprising finding of our interviews with executives and HR professionals was the reluctance of most organizations to go on the record about what they're doing for their older workers. They often were very proud of their efforts but reluctant to share their experiences in print. The Conference Board has experienced a similar reticence.11 I believe this anxiety stems from a fear that organizations might be breaking a law with their special efforts to help older employees work longer. Legal issues are discussed in several parts of this book. We were able to obtain data from more than 50 companies because most of the respondents were DDI clients, and we promised anonymity. 

Who Will Benefit from Reading This Book?

70: The New 50 particularly focuses on the retirement of executives, managers, supervisors, and key contributors such as big-ticket salespeople, engineers, and scientists; although research data is presented that makes a strong argument for hiring and retaining older, nonmanagement employees as well.

70: The New 50 is written for executives and professionals who don't want to sit back and do nothing when faced with a unique set of interrelated organizational challenges—people who want their organizations to manage retirements rather than just accept an ongoing drain of valuable talent, knowledge, and contacts as a fact of work life.

Why This Book Is U.S. Centric

When starting to write this book, I intended to take a worldwide view—because the issues discussed are truly global. However, I soon discovered enough differences among countries to make worldwide coverage impossible. I point out, though, that the basic solutions presented in 70: The New 50 are applicable around the world. Every industrialized country must face up to a wave of retirements that will coincide with a relatively small cohort from which to draw replacements. Some countries, like Japan, are ahead of the wave, and other countries, such as China, will experience the problem a little later; but, all will feel the impact eventually.

End Notes

1. From “98—Expectation of Life and Expected Deaths by Race, Sex, and Age:  2002,” presented on The 2006 Statistical Abstract (The National Data Book) web site by the U.S. Census Bureau.  According to this table of data from 2002, a 60-year-old is expected to live 22 more years; a 65-year-old, 18.2 more years to reach 83.

2. From Cracking the Consumer Retirement Code (p. 8), by McKinsey & Company, 2006, New York:  Author.  This report is available online at: 

3. From “Old. Smart. Productive.” by Peter Coy, 2005, BusinessWeek, (3939), pp. 78–86.

4. From “Britons Are Living Longer, but They Face an Unhealthy Old Age,” by Nicola Smith, 2006, The Sunday Times, p. News 5.

5. From Retirements at Risk:  A New National Retirement Risk Index (p. 11), by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, 2006, Boston:  Author.  This statistic was also highlighted in a CNN online feature, available at: 

6. From The 2006 Merrill Lynch New Retirement Study:  A Perspective from Individuals and Employers (p. 5), by Merrill Lynch, 2006, New York:  Author.  This report is available online at: 

7. From Baby Boomers Envision Retirement II:  Survey of Baby Boomers’ Expectations for Retirement (p. 24), by the AARP (as prepared by Roper ASW), 2004, Washington, DC:  AARP.

See also Staying Ahead of the Curve:  The AARP Working in Retirement Study (p. 15), by S. Kathi Brown, 2003, Washington, DC:  AARP.  This study is available online at: 

8. From a Micro-Level Analysis of Recent Increases in Labor Force Participation Among Older Men (p. 33), by Kevin E. Cahill, Michael D. Giandrea, and Joseph F. Quinn, 2006, Washington, DC:  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  This report is available online at . 

9. From Voices of Experience:  Mature Workers in the Future Workforce (p. 22), a research report by Deborah Parkinson, 2002, New York:  The Conference Board. 

Also see “Phased Retirement:  A Retention Strategy Whose Time Has Come,” a 2004 article featured in the Watson Wyatt journal Insider, 14, p. 6.  Available online at: 

10. This research is included in a soon-to-be published manuscript, Age Effects on Competency-Based Job Performance, by Evan F. Sinar and William C. Byham of Development Dimensions International.

11. From Managing the Mature Workforce:  Implications and Best Practices (p. 7), by Lynne Morton with Lorrie Foster and Jeri Sedlar, 2005, New York:  The Conference Board.  While many corporations agreed to speak to The Conference Board on the record for this study, the majority requested anonymity.  Many issues preclude corporations from having open dialogue with their employees about their retirement or future plans, including benefits, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).  Both corporations and employees expressed a desire to have effective, legal ways to openly discuss future plans and work options, particularly when an employee’s decision would affect organizational plans

Why People Should Read for Pleasure



"In the past years the use of the television and the internet has

increased; this situation has caused many people to change their likes

and the way that they enjoy their free time. Because of television

and the internet, many people spend less time reading, so the purpose

for this essay is to present reasons why people should read just for

pleasure. The reasons that I give you are quite simple: to improve

your knowledge, to expand your general culture, to have more fun, to

make your imagination fly, to find new ways to express your ideas, and

finally to expand your vocabulary.

The first reason that I give you to enjoy reading is that when you

read, you can expand your knowledge and also your culture. There are a

lot of good books in which you can find history, novels, tragedies,

comedies and a variety of other themes. You can see that people who

read more often frequently have a bigger knowledge of life and also a

bigger perspective of their environment. I think that fact gives them

an advantage over all others who do not read frequently.

The second reason to read more often is that through books you can

have fun and even travel in your imagination. Children have not yet

lost the ability of getting into their dreams, and because of this,

in their first years the parents read a lot of tales in which they

use their imagination. Adults should try to keep this ability, so we

do not forget the importance of the use of the imagination. The

imagination also represents a tool that could help you to develop your

professional career in a creative way.

Finally, the third and the most important feature that reading offers

you is that it does not matter the age that you have, you always could

expand your vocabulary and the ways to express your ideas to the

others in a simple and correct form. By the time you can improve the

kind of books that you read, there are a lot of categories, so you

will never stop learning from the pleasure of reading. People who know

how to choose a book generally have the capability of choosing a

formal book in which they can find formal grammatical structures and

obviously a formal vocabulary. All these things allow them to gain

greater fluency in their communication."

=========

Arizona State Universtity College



Reading Skills Programs for Children and Adults

"and also helps to stimulate a lifelong interest in reading for pleasure.

Of all the things parents do for their children, there are very few as

important as helping them to develop a love of books and the habit of

reading independently for pleasure.

The benefits of enjoying reading last a lifetime. Reading well

profoundly affects your child's academic and professional success, and

it also shapes your child's character. No matter what your child's

age, level of reading skill, and current attitude toward books, it's

never too late to develop a love of reading".

=========

Home Schooling Resources



"Education through books goes far beyond the use of text books. Home

schooling families have used books of all types as critical tools to

educate their children. Simply, reading for pleasure can be the best

reading lesson for your child."

=========

An excellent article you might be interested in purchasing to read

online is titled "Making the Case for Pleasure Reading"

Want to learn English Language properly, then check this Successful On-line Course To Learn English in a Fast And Easy way from Emanuels School Of English.

There are many, many other books out there that have a reputation for changing lives including Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, [pic]Handbook to Higher Consciousness, [pic]Atlas Shrugged ,[pic] A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Lord of the Rings and Black Boy to name a few. But you can start in your chosen field and work your way outward.

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