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My Story Nest Children Bedtime Stories

Why Read to Your Child Before Starting School?

Reading aloud to your children is one of the most effective techniques for promoting growth in reading. Children learn that printed words have sounds and that written sentences are different from oral sentences.


  • Vocabulary Growth
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Language Development
  • Knowledge of Word Meaning in Context
  • Visual Decoding
  • Motor Encoding
  • Vocal Encoding
  • Significantly Higher Scores on Linguistic Abilities
  • Differences Between Written and Spoken Word
  • Syntactic Construction
  • Success in Reading Once in School

For significantly higher scores on tests, both the frequency and duration of being read to exhibit high correlations test scores. Bottom line: Read aloud to your children on a regular basis during the pre-school years.


Read to Your Child
Read to Your Child

Mental Imagery

Through the guided discussion of Let's Talk at the end of the Pre-K and K+ children’s stories, children learn to connect text to its context, then to theirself, and then to the outside world.

Making these types of connections helps children build mental imagery which connects them to the world around them. Enabling these mental images is another reason we decided to keep images, photos, pictures, graphics out of our stories. We don't want children to be passive observers of pictures. Instead, we want children to engage their senses, imagination, and creativity to create the picture for them in their minds. Doing so will help develop their comprehension and recall skills. It will also help them develop processing skills to apply meaning. Developing these skills in turn helps children learn to identify inconsistencies and similarities and make more accurate predictions of the narrative structure.

Several studies have concluded that students who were taught to employ mental imagery while reading outperform those who were not.

Reading Levels

There are many different methods for determining the reading level of a passage or book. Some of the most popular include the Automated Readability Index, Coleman–Liau Index Dale-Chall Formula, Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Index, Fry Readability Formula, Gunning Fog Index, Lexile Level, Linsear Write, SMOG, Spache Readability Calculator, as well as many other lesser-known measures. Most of these indices use a combination of factors to calculate a reading level. The most common factors are sentence length, sentence complexity, word length (in either number of letters or number of syllables), and vocabulary level.

My Story Nest classifies stories by Toddler, Pre-K, and K+. These age categories were determined not only by reading level formulas, but they are also based on story length, story complexity, vocabulary, and degree of decision-making.

Additonal Resources

For tips on how to read to your child to get the maximum benefit, see this page.

For more about the importance of vocabulary development, see the page here on why vocabulary is important.

For more reading, see this page.