How to Nourish Your Child’s Mind in Just 15 Minutes A Day

How to nourish your child's mind in just 15 minutes a day

Everyday, I make it a point to read to my children. They have always been excited to be read aloud to, and often bring me books asking me to read to them throughout the day. Many times I even see them in their room sitting, patiently turning through a book that they don’t even know how to read yet.

Reading is such an important part of a child’s growth. Did you know that only 33% of high school students are reading at “proficient” level, meaning that they just scrape by reading at grade level? In addition, those who struggle with reading proficiently for their grade level are much more likely to drop out of school and not attend college.

Words make up a lot of our lives anymore: we read signs, instructions, magazines. But in all reality, our children don’t read well. They can’t comprehend what they are reading, or they read slow, and that makes reading unenjoyable.

When you read to your child you are nourishing their developing brains! Reading increases vocabulary, comprehension, creativity, concentration, among a multitude of other benefits. Lack of reading skills is become a horrible problem. The Educational Testing Service says:

“Forecasters have predicted that if static literacy levels continue, then by 2030 the entire Literacy Level distribution of the U.S. population will have decreased, creating an American workforce that is unequipped and unskilled to work in the demanding global market.”

In just 16 years, it is expected that we won’t read well enough to compete in the global market. There is such an easy solution to this: read to your children. I understand that sometimes things get busy. That sometimes you have to juggle work, school activities, and Zumba classes. But it is so important to read to your child as frequently as you can.

And the best part is, it doesn’t really matter what you read them. They still get the benefits. Sometimes, I read my three and one year old my textbooks. I get my homework done, and they get the benefit of being read to. You can read the sports section, if that’s your thing, or the financial articles. Anything. Just read to them.

And if you prefer kids books, Amazon is a great place to shop for books. You can buy them digitally or hard copy for a good price on there. My favorite resource for a constant stream of new kids books is We Give Books. You sign up for a free account, and then have access to hundreds of beautiful digital books.

So what will reading books do to your child (besides give them a healthy background of learning)? Children who are frequently read to at a young age go farther in school than those who aren’t. Students who read through the summer have less learning-loss, and those who read throughout the year can gain 4,000-12,000 new vocabulary words a year.

Nourish your child’s brain. Feed them words.

Happy reading!

What’s your favorite childhood book? Answer in the comments below!

Blasphemous Me

heart

This is one of my favorite days of the year! Two years ago today, my oh-so-romantic husband proposed to me. He has truly been a blessing and I can’t thank him enough for all the things he has done, and still does, for me.

We’ve been married for a bit over a year and a half now, and neither of us could be happier. He is my best friend, and I’m sure if you asked him, he’d probably say the same thing about me.

I often see other couples and how apart they seem. In movies, and in real life, the husband is always portrayed as wanting a break from his “nagging” wife and wanting to hang out with the guys, and the wife is always busy with the kids, or work, or whatever else and just “doesn’t have time” for her husband. This is such a heartbreaking portrayal of marriage.

In our marriage, I make it a point to put my husband first. Not just above me, but also above my children. Some may see this as blasphemous, but I think that this is important for marital happiness. Why?

I want my children raised in a home where they see that their parents love and respect each other. By putting him first I show him that he is important to me. He does the same for me. This shows our children how a loving, respectful marriage works. If instead they saw my husband going out with his friends every night and me leaving all the time to hang out with friends, they would get the message that we don’t view our spouse as important. If my children see me turning away from my husband to take care of them, they get the message that he is not important, or that they are the most important in the house (neither of which I want them to think). It is vital to put him first to create a healthy, happy household. In addition, seeing the give and take in our relationship, they will learn that in ALL relationships that there should be a give and take.

I also see putting my husband first as putting my children first. By putting my husband first, it unites us in raising our children. Our children are often called “respectful”, “polite”, and “well-behaved”. When two parents are working together, demonstrating what respect is, children learn from that. You are their role model, and they watch you to see how they should act.

On this Valentine’s day, I’ll be doing what I do everyday: putting my husband first.

Happy Valentine’s day!

Are you doing something special for your spouse today? Answer in the comments below!