Communication Benefits from Reading to your Child

January 11th, 2012

By sitting down with your child on a daily basis and reading to, or with your child, you will aid in the development of communications skills that will accompany your child the rest of his or her life.  There is no better tool to use in communication development than books.  It is through books we learn to identify with characters, needs and how properly see that those needs are met.  Simply, communication is taught through experience rather than through planned lessons.

Consider, if you will, that the more toddlers can effectively communicate, the less behavioral issues.  When a child has vocabulary and grammar skills, they find it easier to communicate their wants, needs and thoughts.   If they do not have those skills, it can be quite frustrating for them, as they don’t know how to express what they want to communicate.  A child may scream, throw tantrums, or withdraw and say nothing at all, when they lack communication skills.  Reading expands a child’s vocabulary, teaches him or her how tone and inflections in voice give different meanings to words and emotions, as well as bridge words and pictures.

Furthermore, reading examples a child to a vast world they live in where not everyone looks, speaks or acts the same.  Reading teaches your child of the “bigger picture” of life.  By hearing the words, speaking them, and then linking them to the applied image illustrated in books, you afford your child the ability to interpret circumstances and situations.  Also, by reading books to your child from a variety of genres, fiction, non-fiction, references, etc., you open up a Universe of opportunity for learning, growth and experiences.  The result being he or she will be equipped to communicate with people from diverse backgrounds.

Lastly, reading to your child opens the door for discussions, questions and continued communication.  Just simply spending that time with your child strengthens the parent-child bond.  More so, topics that seem to be troublesome to discuss can be better addressed after reading something similar in a book and then using that as a starting point.  The atmosphere tends to be more relaxed and comfortable for both parent and child. The one-on-one reading time you give to your child will become addicting.

How The Internet Changed How We Read

January 6th, 2012

One of the pitfalls of living with the convenience of the Internet and computer technology is that one-third of all children do not own a book of their own.  One might be inclined to assign blame to video gaming, or even parenting.  The fact of the matter is society is dependent upon the Web, thereby making it the chosen go-to media source used to gather information and for entertainment.  Internet usage far surpasses the time spent reading books, magazines and encyclopedias for both children and adults.

If technology is changing how we read, it is evident that the human brain has or is changing how it functions or comprehends.  Ask yourself, “when is the last time you have immersed yourself in a book or a lengthy article?”  Did you find yourself skipping words, paragraphs, or pages to get to the gist of the book or article?  If you answered “yes,” you are not alone.  Attention spans are shortening.  Because of technology, we are used to having instantaneous information at our fingertips and getting our points across with the click of a mouse.  Text messaging is an example.  In texting and instant messaging, the English language has been reduced to “lol,” “idk,” or “ty.”

Thus, it is more important than ever to teach children strong reading skills as early as possible and encourage those skills on a consistent daily basis.  Whenever possible, present the child(ren) in your life with books; actual books that they can hold in both hands and sink their imaginations into.  Wonderful, quality books, such as the books in the Heartfelt Stories’ series that not only entertain the child, but also provide them with great life lessons, decision making and reading skills, too. When a child possesses reading skills, it leads them to an appreciation for the Art of Language and the Art of Communication. Teaching reading skills early is important to provide a good base before being affected by a society strongly centered on Web usage and abbreviated communication.

Though the internet has brought us the ease and convenience of gathering information in a snap, making the Internet our primary media and communication source has moved us into an easy-read lifestyle.   It is a lifestyle that, unless children are not already introduced to the joy of reading from a young age, will make reading an entire book a tedious chore.

Teach Your Children the Joy of Reading

December 6th, 2011
How does one teach children the joy of reading?  The answer is simple—sharing.  It is a well known fact that if you enjoy reading, so will your children.  Children learn by example.  Parenthood can be consumed with juggling many tasks and responsibilities.  It is very easy to forget the simplest, yet most rewarding, of all pleasures:  Reading.

“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.”—Victor Hugo, “Les Miserables”

Read to your children.  Your enjoyment of reading ignites the spark of enjoyment within your son or daughter.  Reading is a delightful contagion fueled by imagination, creativity and a hunger for knowledge.  As parents (and grandparents), it is up to you to example children to the fun reading can be.  You are the role model to demonstrate the entertainment, excitement and satisfaction that comes from reading a good book.

“T-V.  If kids are entertained by two letters, imagine the fun they’ll have with twenty-six.  Open your child’s imagination.  Open a book.”—Unknown

Another important factor to keep in mind when engaging your children in reading is that children will enjoy books that contain characters they can identify with.  Fictional characters help children reflect on who they want to be as they grow up.  You will want to choose quality books that contain characters that face a variety of real life circumstances; circumstances that evoke behavior and decision making skills that are most beneficial to young readers.

Teaching your children that reading is fun and entertaining will give them a definite advantage as they go through school and even into their adult lives.  Set aside some one-on-one time with your children.  Allow them to select a favorite book, such as one from the Heartfelt Stories series, to share. You can be assured that you are doing the best thing possible for your children at that moment—teaching your children the joy of reading.

Benefits of Developing Early Reading Skills

November 28th, 2011

The late Walt Disney so eloquently proclaimed, “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.”  A few of those treasures are vocabulary aptitude, narrative comprehension, and phonology awareness—benefits of developing early reading skills.  Reading development starts at birth.  It may seem astounding, but it is true. That is when language is developed, which is the foundation for reading comprehension.

Reading exposes children to words they may not normally encounter.  Simply, reading expands children’s vocabulary.  In fact, children who engage in reading are soon able to “guess” at the meaning of words based upon the context of the story that is shared with them.  However, it is often necessary for a parent to provide further explanation and engage in a discussion about what is read and that which is understood.

A child’s ability to comprehend and tell stories is a narrative skill that also develops early in childhood through reading.   It is better to share a book with a child than to just read a book to them.  Sharing promotes the discussion of new words, concepts, meanings, etc., and invites the child to participate in describing their interpretation of the book’s contents in their own words.  This expands their narrative skills in combination with utilizing their growing vocabulary.

It must also be noted that phonology awareness is also a treasured gift obtained from reading at the earliest age.  It is the ability to hear and recognize sounds and then generate like-sounded words or rhymes, as well as come up with possible words by connecting pieces together phonetically.   An example would be the phonetic sounds of “mi” and “k” and the child comes up with the possible words of “milk” or “mink.”  The more reading the child is afforded, the more opportunity they are given to expand their phonology awareness.

In conclusion, the development of early reading skills in children benefits them for the rest of their life.  Therefore, open up a book and share it with your children or grandchildren.  Heartfelt Stories is the key that opens up the door to reading exploration and growth in vocabulary, narrative skills and phonological awareness for your young reader.

Choosing Your Children’s Books

November 15th, 2011

There are several factors that should be considered when choosing books for your children, such as the life lessons that are presented in a particular book, book characters children can identify with, and the introduction of written works by renowned classical authors.  However, there is another factor that often gets overlooked in selecting books for children:  a child’s emotional maturity.

To understand your child’s emotional maturity will allow you to select books that will encourage your child to read more.  Yes, it is important to challenge a child to read above their expected level, but it is even more crucial to continually cultivate the passion to read.   You do this by providing them with a variety of reading material that not only incites them to read at the next level, but also present them with books that make it fun to read.

The Heartfelt Stories series is a prime example of books that inspire children to read¾books that not only meet but also exceed the criterion when selecting quality books for your children.  Books that contain life lessons young readers face in childhood.  Not to mention, each book presents animated characters that children can easily identify with.  Simply, Heartfelt Stories makes reading fun¾so much so, that your children will want to read them again and again.

Do not allow the length of any particular book to affect your consideration in the selection process.  Books that contain a lot of illustrations and short in length can also contain dynamic writing.  To support this idea, consider the classic and beloved author, Dr. Seuss.  We can recall in our own childhood the immense pleasure we received in journeying into the world of Dr. Seuss.  A series of books where we were taught life lessons and, unbeknownst to us as children, we were also taught poetry, rhyme and reason.

Ultimately, when choosing books for your children, the whole objective is to present your child with something that will incite them to think and grow into fluent readers, as well as provide them with a joyful reading experience.  As Dr. Seuss said, “the more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you will go.”  Simply.

The Role of Good Books in Your Children’s Life

November 9th, 2011

Inscribed over the entrance way of the Library at Thebes is a short statement inflecting the importance of books and reading:  “Medicine for the soul.”  Nothing can be truer for children whose young formative minds develop rapidly during childhood.  The role of good books in a children’s life is immeasurable; building strong vocabulary, social and concentration skills that lead them into a strong and secure adulthood.

By reading stories to a child, as well as encouraging them to read on their own, you are assisting in the building and expanding of that child’s vocabulary.  Believe it or not, many children are capable of reading at a higher level than one may assume.  It is never too early to begin exposing children to new words.  Children’s minds are like sponges wanting to soak up stimulating imagery and knowledge.  With a little bit of encouragement, you can proactively encourage such growth and expansion.

There are many great children books that are written to entice vocabulary growth as well as address social skills and decorum.  Any of the Heartfelt Stories’ books, included.  For instance, “Lil’ Smokey Born A Volunteer,” provides the young reader with a scenario of being confused, yet determined to reach a particular goal.  The book entices the child to be encouraging to others, examples them to the making of new friends, and the concept of being rewarded for hard work.

In addition to the above benefits, no other activity can provide a child with a quiet time of relaxing free play than reading.  Time, in and of itself, is an excellent concentration aid.  For instance, when a child is engrossed in a particular book or reading material, their concentration is soaring.  Next time you are around your beloved child, and they are captivated by a book they are reading, notice their concentration working away.  When they are focusing and concentrating, they are undoubtedly increasing and expanding their attention span.

Therefore, at every given opportunity, encourage a child to read, or read to them.  Allow them as much time as is feasible to journey into a relaxing world that stimulates their imagination.  In turn, you will see their vocabulary, social, and concentration skills surpass your anticipation!

Building Your Children’s Character

October 31st, 2011

What are the building blocks that strengthen children’s characters? Self Confidence, Honesty, Kindness, Respect, and Good Judgment, to name a few.  However, it appears to be a common fallacy in society that the responsibility to provide these essential blocks to children remains with the school system. Though, in all actuality, the accountability lies with the parents. As Aristotle said, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”  Books are the most important tools to create the bricks that build a strong foundation of character in children.

Yet, today, children are often found in front of televisions or video games instead of embracing a book.  Parents have the ability to moderate how their children’s time is spent.  Instead of stimulating children’s minds solely via television shows, it is better to encourage children to read books that are constructive to their small lives.  For example, in the evening, instead of having the television broadcasting the “bad” news, read an encouraging book to your children, such as Heartfelt Stories’ “Marvelous Marty,” which teaches young readers the “good news” of liking one’s self and seeing their reflection from the inside out.  When the parent takes the time to read books, such as the Heartfelt Stories’ series, to their children, or allow their child to read the books to them, it presents a perfect opportunity to foster the development of a close relationship between parent and child.

Reading time equals parent-child time.  It opens up the door for communication, allowing for discussion, including questions and answers.  The nitty-gritty is a parent is a child’s foremost moral teacher.  Through books, parents are able to engage with their children even more by asking them the kind of questions that spark their tiny minds to contemplate what-if scenarios, by considering another person’s viewpoint, and understanding consequences of certain behaviors and choices. This teaches children how to ask questions of themselves outside of their parent’s presence: “Is this the right thing to do?”

It should be every parent’s goal to build a strong foundation of character within their child so that they are equipped to handle different situations, to know right from wrong, good behavior from bad behavior, whether they are in their parents’ presence or not.  And this can be achieved through consistent daily reading of books to, or with, your children.

Ten Reasons to Read to Your Children

October 24th, 2011

The importance of reading to children has been exhorted and preached for centuries by teachers, pediatricians and child specialists, alike.  The three R’s:  Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.  But why is reading so important?  Heartfelt Stories has found what we believe to be ten significant benefits to a child who is read to by a parent or guardian.

  1. Parents who read to their child from birth tend to find them reading at an early age.  Even before a child has developed vocabulary, reading introduces them to the alphabet and shortly thereafter, letter and word recognition.
  2. The time you read to your child offers the opportunity to bond, as well.  A closeness that instills a sense of security and love in your child.
  3. You gain a sense of your child’s unique personality, traits and interests, by being attentive to the books your child enjoys the most. Do they tend to enjoy books about cars or fairytales? Dinosaurs or animals?
  4. A gift that lasts a lifetime is a passion for reading.  No greater gift opens the Universe up to your child, than the passion for reading.
  5. A child can develop problem solving skills as they follow a book’s character(s) , focusing on how the character faces certain situations, people, places and/or things
  6. Reading stimulates a child’s creative imagination.  Some of the most innovative minds of our century were avid and passionate readers.  People such as Benjamin Franklin, Erma Bombeck, and Bill Gates, to name a few.
  7. Books are a great source to teach morals and ethics to your child.  For instance if “X” happens, then the right thing to do would be “Y.”
  8. Engaging in discussion with your child while reading to them is a great avenue to discuss important life issues that tend to be difficult to talk about otherwise.  Such as topics relating to a death of a family member, the arrival of a new sibling, or the making of friends.
  9. Passion for reading is contagious and passes on from generation to generation.
  10. 10.  Simply, when a child is read to, or engages in consistent reading on their own, it opens their mind up to new thoughts and experiences.

Author Visits in 2010

July 27th, 2010

Hi Everyone,

 

We are lining up our Author Visits for 2010!  Please call or e-mail us for additional information. 

Children’s Books Help Build Self-Esteem & Teach Life Lessons

September 9th, 2009

Books are wonderful tools to capture the often wandering attention of children and example them to positive behaviors and constructive growth.  As adults, we have the opportunity to choose books that help children understand issues that arise in their young lives, issues ranging from good nutrition and hygiene, to building self-esteem and friendships.  What better gift to give a child, than the gift of understanding, an understanding of the world in which they live with optimism instead of fear.

One of the ways in which an author grabs the attention of young children and readers is by the use of colorful and animated characters.  Most of us, no matter how old we may be, have books from our childhood that to this day remain dear to us over the years.  We hold these books close to heart and vividly in memory mainly because of the characters depicted within them.  Characters we adored and could relate to in our day-to-day lives.  After the book was read, those same characters survived in our infinite imaginations.

The stimulation of a child’s imagination is important.  It is the spark that ignites creative development within the child. A child who is read to, or spends time reading, on a consistent basis, is exposed to good writing and proper grammar.  If this routine is started at a very young age, by the time the child starts school, they begin their education on a solid foundation; an excellent tool to advance their ability to learn, thus increasing their self-esteem even more.

There are some wonderfully written, and colorfully animated books, such as Heartfelt Stories, that benefit children and young readers with all of the above and more.  The stories contain underlying messages and lessons on compassion for self and others, the importance of good behavior, as well as develop empathy for others, even if they look or talk differently.  The more we example our sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren to books that instill these positive attributes in their young lives, the better the world will be tomorrow and in the future.