Let Them READ!
I almost decided to skip this post because...DUH! Reading is so brain-feedingly good for kids, and yet we don't always make it enough of a priority. Heather over at Cultivated Lives (aren't we cute with our matchy-matchy blog names?) is way smarter than yours truly and can explain all the important reasons why reading is good for growing brains. All I know is if I institute a quiet time and tell them to grab a stack of a books, I can have an almost silent house for a good hour. I'll take it.
So, here's a short story* to illustrate my point:
Once upon a time there was a little boy who would read. When his mother caught him she said, "You obviously have extra time on your hands." and consequently would give him more chores. While he developed a strong work ethic, his love for books was sadly dimmed. At the same time, there was a little girl who grew up steeped in books and was encouraged to stretch her imagination muscles. The little boy and the little girl grew up and had to get jobs. Can you guess which one became a librarian (and holds a degree in Library Science**)?
(It just so happens they fell in love with each other and got married in there too, but that has little bearing on the point I'm trying to make. Although..."They lived happily ever after" does wrap it up nicely for me.)
If I could encourage parents to do only one thing to help their kids learn, it would be to let them read. Every day. If they are too young, read to them. We have two independent readers and we still read books together too. It's the perfect excuse to sit down for a few minutes, cuddle up on the couch, recharge, and fill their little emotional buckets. Besides, you might just be raising the next librarian!
Off To The Library,
P.S. Audio books are good too (although not as stimulating to the brain as actual reading). Instead of T.V. at night, try audio books.
*All characters appearing in this work are factual. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely deliberate
**Yeah, I didn't know you could have a Master's in that either.