What this suggests to me as an early childhood educator is just how important it is for children to engage in high-quality child care that encourages literacy through reading, conversation, and adults asking children open-ended questions designed get them to think and to stretch their brains developing neurons. These activities are necessary for children to develop brain matter to engage in reading and literacy. So what does this mean? Parents need to do three things in order to ensure their child is at the level they need to be especially when it come to third grade reading.
- Ensure children are read to on a regular basis. This means starting at birth at least two books a week to preferably 5. Parents don't need to do this all by themselves, let your village help you friends, grandparents, a librarian, take your kids to story time, take them to hear poetry readings, taking them to see plays and puppet shows, things that are fun for the entire family.
- Choose your child care wisely! If your child's in a high-quality center that focuses on social emotional and literacy development then the teachers and the folks in that center will support your goal of 30 million words for your children by age 8.
- Eliminate screen time down to No More Than 3 hours a week. This includes LeapFrog, cartoons, children's movies, and all other forms of electronic media.
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