The Million Word Advantage: Five books a day can increase your child's vocabulary by a million words
Did you know if you read to your child before they start attending preschool they have a big chance of having a "million word" advantage over their peers?
Did you know if you read to your child before they start attending preschool they have a big chance of having a ‘Million Word’ advantage over their peers. (iStock)
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Did you know if you read to your child before they start attending preschool they have a big chance of having a ‘Million Word’ advantage over their peers?

An Ohio State University study has shown that reading to your children is critical to the development of their knowledge.

According to the study, children whose parents read five books a day to them enter preschool having heard 1.4 million more words than children who were never read to.

This study is called the million-word gap. 

The million-word gap study presents key elements in explaining vocabulary and reading development differences.

Even children who are read only one book a day will hear about 290,000 more words by age 5 than those who don’t regularly read books with a parent or caregiver.

Better prepared 

Jessica Logan, an Ohio State Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy member, says that children who hear more words will be better prepared to see those words in print when they enter school.

She also states they pick up reading skills more quickly and easily.

The encouragement for the study stems from Logan and her colleagues finding out about one-fourth of children in a national sample were never read to, and another fourth were seldom read to (once or twice weekly).

They had many parents who said they never or seldom read to their children.

The parents wanted to figure out what that might mean for their kids according to Logan, thus she and her colleagues started with the study.

Reading to your children is very important but it also stretches beyond learning new words.

It's about spending a time with them, bonding with each other, being silly together, and learning new things about one another.

Exposure to books and new words is something all families can benefit from, especially children.

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Read more:

50% of children have never read a book with their parents – here's why we need to encourage reading early on

Parents can help kids catch up in reading with a 10-minute daily routine

5 tips to win at reading to your children

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