Category Archives: Blog

What Does Science Know About Learning?

March 18,2021

For decades, cognitive scientists and psychologists have been studying how we learn. What they’ve discovered is that people can only hold a very limited amount of information in mind at the same time (Harvard psychologist George Miller dubbed this “the magic number seven”). If people are actively engaging those pieces of information, the number drops to perhaps two or three. So there is a case to be made for making learning materials easy to master.

On the other hand, researchers have also discovered that if learning is too easy for students, they can lose interest. Therefore, learning materials need to be in the sweet spot between easy enough to master and challenging enough to be interesting.

Keep this in mind when choosing books for your beginning reader. If you have a child just on the cusp of learning to read, take a look at Budding Reader books. Our books are in that sweet spot. Plus, each purchase triggers a donation of an ebook to a child in need, making our books even sweeter.

Brain Training

February 18,2021

The brain is not hardwired to learn to read. In fact, in order to read a brain must make new neural connections between all four lobes of the brain, especially the sections dedicated to vision and language. A brain that can read is one that is literally changed both physiologically and intellectually.

A developing brain’s environment from birth on (or even before) can make all the difference as to whether that brain will develop the connections it needs in order to learn to read. That’s why parents and caregivers play such an important role in children learning to read.

So be sure you are providing a language rich environment (full of books, talking, singing, and playing) for the developing brains in your life and nourish those neural connections.

nudges

January 13,2021
Want your children to put down the remote and pick up books? Here are some ideas:
  1. Create a special place just for reading. Pile pillows on the floor in the corner, provide good lighting and a pile of books.
  2. Let children stay up 15 minutes past bedtime if they spend that extra time reading or looking at books. Turn off the lights and provide a flashlight to make it extra fun.
  3. Talk to your child about a favorite book from your own childhood, then check that book out from the library. Odds are your endorsement will make the book more appealing.
  4. Download eBooks (or check them out from your library). Research shows that children prefer to read eBooks over printed ones.
  5. Store books where they are easy to find and reach. If possible, turn some books so their front covers are visible tempting children to read them.

Make books and reading a daily habit for children and you’ll set them on the road to becoming lifelong learners.