Read To Your Kids!

Posted on: Mar 10, 2015

A guest blog post by Monster & Me™ author Paul Czajak: As a picture book author my job is to create the best story I can in the fewest amount of words. But the most important four words I could write are: Read to your kids. I know, it sounds self-serving, especially since I write books for a living. But the point of this article is not to tell you how my books are incredibly awesome (that’s obvious), but to tell you that reading to your kids is incredibly awesome. In my opinion, reading to your kids has three major impacts. The first, and most obvious: it teaches your child to read. The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) reported that children who were read to frequently were also more likely to read or pretend to read (77% vs. 57%). I love this statistic because they mention “pretending to read”. Pretending to read is the first step in a child’s ability to read. My daughter used to take a book and tell me she was going to read it. She would then proceed to recite the book from memory. Once I figured out what was going on, I grew annoyed. I would say to her, “This isn't reading. You memorized it. You need to try and read an easier book.” But my daughter was doing exactly what she should have been doing. Memorizing the book was the first step in applying the words that she had seen to the words she heard. And here I was telling her different! Oh where was the Parenting Manual I was promised! The second reason you should read to your kids is that it develops speech and vocabulary. If you want your kids to learn how to talk, then read to them early and often. Books about color, counting, objects—you name it; they all help develop your child's speech. And don’t wait; start young. Who cares if they would rather eat the book than read it? Their minds are working and processing everything you say and do. Plus, when your kid is wide-awake and raring to go at 2:45 in the morning, what else are you going to do? A rousing game of foosball? You have to wait at least until 6 months old for that. The third reason and final reason for reading aloud is the bond it creates between you and your child. In this day an age where two working parents are the norm, schedules get tight. Daycare/school, homework, dinner, getting ready for bed. The time goes by so fast, but no day is too busy that you can’t take 15 minutes and read with your child. The time with your kids becomes more precious every day they get older. So taking time at night, sharing books with your kids, is time well spent. I remember doing it with my mom when I was a kid and your kids will remember doing it with you. The bond created between child and parent in that small amount of time is an intangible that statistics can’t measure—and perhaps the most important element in the social development of a child. So if you haven’t picked up on it yet, the take home message is read to your kids. It doesn't matter what you read to them, whether it’s a newspaper, a magazine, an encyclopedia or a picture book. Though personally, I would love it if they were picture books about a big blue Monster or a spider that weaves different geometric shapes! But ultimately, the important thing is that you read. Paul_CzajakPaul Czajak got an F with the words “get a tutor” on his college writing paper and after that, never thought he’d become a writer. But after spending twenty years as a chemist, he knew his creativity could no longer be contained. Living in New Jersey with his wife, and two little monsters, Paul has rediscovered his passion for writing and looks forward to sharing his stories for years to come. In addition to the Monster & Me™ series, Paul is also the author of Seaver the Weaver.  


ABSOLUTELY! It's the number one piece of advice teachers share at parent-teacher conferences. Sadly, if they had been doing this since infancy it wouldn't need to be said so often. READ TO YOUR CHILD!
yes yes yes! We read aloud the Harry Potter books before Sarah could read. She wanted her own copy of Chamber of secrets & she pretended to read it! And she had whole chunks of it memorized.

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