Read To Your Babies!

How cute is this picture!  I love that I caught it last November.
Read to your babies!!  Okay, even just talking to them will do the trick.  A friend shared a study that was published in 1995 with me, and I just have to share it with all my mommy bloggy friends!

Beginning in 1983, 42 families with infants had monthly visits from researchers who recorded everything that happened in the house.  This went on for three years.  Then, the researchers spent almost ten years transcribing and analyzing the information.  They wanted to see why children--even as young as four years old--from wealthier families did better in school than children from poorer families.  They found several interesting things.  Here is where reading and talking come in.

The average child in their study in an upper socio-economic class family heard about 2,000 words an hour. The average child in a welfare family heard about 600 words an hour.  By the time the kiddos are four, that translates to about 45 million words total for the wealthier kid and 13 million words total for the poorer kid.  The crazy thing is that those vocabulary levels of the four-year-old could be used as indicators of how well the kids would do later in school.  The study did not track any kids after about 3rd grade.

So, read to your babies!  Talk to your kiddos!  Read them your blogs!  Tell them how you're wearing your favorite perfume and why you brush your hair in the morning!  They'll thank you for it someday!

PS.  Do you wonder how much you talk?  I did.  This entire post has 305 words (including the PS, but not the title or caption!).  So, you can read your babies this post seven times an hour to get 2135 words hourly!  Haha.  Also, if you want more information, check out this NPR article on the study:  http://www.npr.org/2011/01/10/132740565/closing-the-achievement-gap-with-baby-talk.

7 comments:

Alicia@ Mommy Delicious January 26, 2011 at 12:19 AM  

While reading DEFINITELY helps a lot (as a former NYC public school teacher I know this all too well), I think a lot of it also has to do with the resources that are available to these young children. A 4-year-old in an upper middle class family have many more enriching experiences than that of a lower class child. For instance, they travel, they go out to museums, they go to nicer restaurants, they have better preschool programs that prepare them for kindergarten. A child coming from a lower class background does not have all of these things. Most often their parent works long hours and doesnt have as much time to read to the child b/c they are focusing on basic survival needs.

Reading is important. Very important. But it also boils down to money.

Jansen Family January 26, 2011 at 7:27 AM  

Those are a lot of good points. It seems really tragic that we have set up so many discrepancies that kids have no control over that still affect their lives. Thanks for commenting!

~Carla

Kristina Ruth January 26, 2011 at 3:56 PM  

Love the photo. We read to our little one every night.

Skye January 26, 2011 at 5:19 PM  

We do! We knew how important it was to reasd to Julianna all the time as much as we could. She has quite the library already! We talk toher and tell her what we're doing and why, and tell her everything... I truly believe that makes such a difference, you're right! :) Good post!

Jansen Family January 26, 2011 at 5:35 PM  

I love to read at night too, Kristina...it's such a relaxing, calm way to get ready for bed!

Skye, she'll be talking before you know it!

~Carla

Crunchyish Mama January 27, 2011 at 8:09 PM  

We read at night, but I want to try to start reading more during the day. I love that someone else worries about these things too!

Jansen Family January 27, 2011 at 9:14 PM  

Emily, Isn't it easy to worry about things when you have kids?! I've usually considered myself a relaxed person, but throw my kids into the equation and I can find many, many things to worry about!

~Carla