Every society has people who read a lot in their leisure time. Aside from the sheer joy of exercising the imagination, research shows reading for pleasure improves literacy, social skills, health, and learning outcomes.
It is known that children who grew up surrounded by books tend to attain higher levels of education and became better readers than those who didn’t.
Being a reader sets a child up for academic success, since so much of school is reading.
Focus should be on helping kids discover the value in reading. After that, other good things will come.
- Students who read independently become better readers, score higher on achievement tests and have greater content knowledge than those who do not
- Elementary students who read outside of school, scored higher on reading achievement tests
- It takes but a small amount of independent reading to increase primary and elementary students’ reading comprehension, vocabulary growth, spelling facility, understanding of grammar, and knowledge of the world
Three variables have a lot of influence over whether someone becomes a lifelong reader.
First, a child needs to be a ‘fluent decoder’, being able to smoothly go from print on the page to words in the mind. This is something that schools teach.
Second, parents can arm their kids with information about the world, to help them interpret whatever they come across in print. Making sure their kids have some familiarity with whatever it is they’re reading about.
Third ingredient: So many parents stress out with all the research out there that says that reading is tied to things like academic success, testing success, executive function, and emotional well-being. Knowing that makes parents think, ‘Okay, my kid has to be a reader.’” That mentality can lead them to frame reading to their children as an obligation. Which may cause problems. For example, if you’re trying to get them to eat something that’s good for them, use the right approach. Present reading not as ‘broccoli’ but as ‘chocolate cake’.
Even though plenty of people don’t enjoy reading, it’s a vital skill.
If you don’t enjoy reading; you’d be part of the 81% majority who don’t read for pleasure.
Contributing factors :
- lack of motivation
- negative attitudes to reading (readers are boring, reading is boring)
- peer pressure
- lack of reading skills and subsequent low self-efficacy
- lack of choice and lack of appropriate high-interest resources
- other distractions.
You don’t need a lot of money to fill your home with books. And it’s very hard to have a bored child when there are always books around.
The relationship between reading for pleasure and well-being
is particularly interesting,
with evidence showing a correlation between frequently reading for pleasure
lowers levels of stress and depression.
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