“The Power of the Read-Aloud Bedtime Story can be neither overestimated nor overstated. It is one of the most fundamental building blocks of life. It builds love, it builds literacy, it builds understanding and compassion. In short, it builds families, and it therefore builds society itself.” – Phillip J. Chipping, Founder of knowonder!
Listening Literacy (not the ability to read, but the amount of words a child understands) has been proven to be the single-most important indicator of a child’s success in school. In fact, researchers have shown they can tell as early as age 5 which children will be successful in school (and therefore in life) simply based on their level of listening literacy.
This unique form of literacy happens long before a child can read on her own, and long before the government begins spending money on her formal education. It also happens without special preschool classes, without baby Einstein music, without music in the womb, and without special toys designed to promote childhood development.
Beginning around age 2 to 4, the single-most important thing a parent can do to increase this literacy in their little ones is to READ OUT LOUD to them. EVERY DAY.
(click here to learn what to do between ages 0-3, the most important time in your child’s development).
“By age three, children from privileged families have heard 30 million more words than children from poor families. By kindergarten the gap is even greater. The consequences are catastrophic.” – American Educator, Spring 2003
It is our mission to help you develop this Listening Literacy by making resources more accessible, affordable and effective.
The Story-a-Day Database does just that. By bringing you new, original and FUN content each and every day, you and your little ones will always have something fun to read together. Reading out loud to your little ones has never been easier.
About the Story-a-Day Database
The Story-a-Day Database is a collection of content specifically developed to increase your child’s literacy level, from age 3 to age 12. (click here for ages 0-3)
The database includes:
- over 300 original short stories written by professional children’s authors from around the world, with new stories added each week.
- Fun Fact articles (non-fiction) that explore the exciting facts about animals, plants and the world around us.
- Over 100 classics from your childhood and from long ago, like The Velveteen Rabbit, The Ugly Duckling, Aesop’s Fables, The Grimm Fairy Tales, and many not-so-well known (but still fantastic) stories.
Each story is followed with multiple questions. The questions are designed to help reinforce the recall and understanding of the story by asking “who, what, when and where” questions.
They also promote creative and critical thinking by asking “why” and “how” questions.
Although the original intent of the database was to create a repository of read-aloud stories, each story in the database has also been leveled for independent reading. What does this mean? If your child is reading independently then you can sort the stories to find ones that match your child’s reading level. Reading levels are denoted by age and/or grade level. Just look at the “sort” drop down in the upper right-hand corner when inside the database to start sorting. (If you’re reading out loud to your kids, however, then don’t worry about the levels. Kids’ listening literacy is always much higher than their reading literacy).
Our staff of editors works hard to ensure that every story is professionally edited, and that every story is appropriate. We are parents, too, and we want to make sure every piece of content we provide can be used in your home or school without worry.
Many short stories found online have not gone through a rigorous editing process and do little to model proper sentence structure, use of words and grammar, as well as present a decent and well written storyline. Our team sifts through hundreds and hundreds of submissions to ensure that all our stories are of a high quality.
One of the challenges in developing our children’s listening literacy is our own limited vocabulary. The average adult only uses 5,000 to 10,000 words, though they can understand many more. In order to expand a child’s listening literacy, parents must draw on resources that will supply opportunities to use new words and not-so-common words. The best way to do this is through reading!
One of the best benefits of having stories from many different authors is the fact that each person uses language and words a bit differently. The stories they paint with words are all different from each other, just as each painter uses paint and canvas differently.
Multiple writers also brings a broad world-view and experience base from which you can draw, whereas a single individual is always limited to just what they know. Our stories have come from all over the world, including countries like England, Germany, India and Southeast Asia!