New Year Challenge 

New Year Challenge 

The start of 2020 has just arrived and this year, I have a challenge for families. And before you ask, yes, I am committing to this challenge, too! I want to challenge you and your family to turn off the TV at night, turn off the computer, and put your phone on silent. And bring out the books.

Why? So, you have a chance without any distractions to sit and read with your child. I recently came across new research and it blew my mind. According to research done at The Ohio State University (Go Bucks!! O-H-I-O) in April of 2019, “Young children whose parents read them five books a day, enter kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than kids who were never read to. This ‘million-word gap’ could be one key in explaining differences in vocabulary and reading development.” Let’s commit to reading five books to our children every night (or one of your favorite chapter books if you have an older child).

One of my fondest memories from my childhood is the excitement of going to bed (said no child ever, but it is true).

Why? Because every night, my dad would read my sister and me a chapter or two from the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe series (and not to brag, but I do have a good vocabulary repertoire, thank you dad). Because this brought me so much joy as a child, I wanted to share this with my children, who are now looking forward to finding out more about the Ice Queen and Narnia. As they have gotten older, I have slacked on nightly reading. But let’s commit together to change this in 2020, because your child is never too old to be read to by mom and dad.

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Ashlee Nealis, M.Ed, CCC-SLP

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