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Three interesting facts about kids and books we learned in the last week

July 31, 2015

At Better Reading Kids we love sharing great stories with children. Reading together is chilling out and bonding time, when you get to explore imaginary worlds and play with words. We’re passionate readers ourselves, and there’s nothing like passing your own passion on to kids.

We also understand that reading with kids gives them a great start in terms of literacy, academic achievement and emotional development.

We’re always keen to know more about the impact books can have on kids’ lives. This week we came across three interesting facts:

The number of books in their home has a greater impact on a child’s educational success than their parents’ education, family economic situation or the country they live in. reported on research published in the journal ‘Research in Social Stratification and Mobility’, which showed that the number of books a child has access to at home is a very significant predictor of their educational success.

The results were based on data from 73,249 people living in 27 countries.

Previously, it was thought that the parents’ level of education was the most significant predictor for educational attainment. But the study found that in the U.S, having books in the home has as much impact as having university-educated parents.

And overall, having books in the home is twice as important as the father’s education level, and more important than whether a child grew up in China or the United States.

Bedtime reading is not just great for kids when they’re kids: it can set up lifetime habits that will help deal with stress in adulthood.

Family bedtime featured an article by Janet Krone Kennedy, PhD, about the benefits of reading to kids at bedtime. They include language and literacy development, physical closeness to their parents, and “it also gives older kids an opportunity to soften their defences and talk about things that might be troubling them.”

Bedtime reading provides focus and distraction from daily life, so kids can filter out the world and allow the feeling of fatigue to take over. Kennedy says “because bedtime reading happens when the child is tired and relaxed, it becomes associated with those feelings. Over time, bedtime reading actually triggers and enhances the sleepiness and relaxation because of that association. With repetition, bedtime reading becomes a very powerful sleep cue.”

More than that, Kennedy has found through her own experience and in her clinical psychology practice that adults struggling with poor sleep often benefit from returning to that bedtime-reading practice they learned as kids.

Many children as old as eleven don’t want their parents to stop reading aloud to them.

The big children’s publishing house Scholastic published their regular “Reading Report” some months ago now but we’re still catching up with some of the detail in it, including this observation:

Kids often want to be read aloud to, even once they’re reading independently. 60% of the kids surveyed who were aged 9-11 were no longer being read to at home. But 34% of those kids actually wanted the reading aloud to continue.

(Scholastic’s survey was based on 2,558 parents and children in the U.S.)

We say, go out and enjoy some stories with your kids, knowing it’s a good thing for all sorts of reasons!