Good reading skills can open many doors for a child’s future. Reading is perhaps the most important academic skill a child can acquire. If you don’t continuously practice reading with kids, your children may struggle with their education. Despite advancements in modern educational standards, many children and teens continue to suffer from poor literacy skills.
In Scotland, it’s estimated that 1 in 5 children from low-income families leave school without the ability to read. Approximately 40% of children in the UK who come from disadvantaged families don’t have good reading skills. This really takes its toll on their future as adults, making it difficult for them to find decent jobs.
Why reading for kids is crucial
According to the Read On, Get On program, “children who read well by 11 do better at school, get better exam results and do better in the workplace – they’re also best placed to give their own children the best start in life”. In contrast, poor reading skills could very well sentence individuals to a life of poverty. In this article, we aim to explore how important reading for kids is.
In the US, it is estimated that approximately 40% of 4th grade students lack reading proficiency skills. Children with poor reading skills are more prone to developing anti-social behavior such as bullying or drop out of school altogether.
Organizations such as Reading is Fundamental in the US, as well as Read On, Get On and Born to Read in the UK are dedicating their efforts to improving literacy rates in their respective countries. Although getting a good education consists of more than learning to read, good reading skills lay the foundation upon which all other academic learning depends. Good readers stand a better chance of being good achievers when it comes to academic and career performance.
Reading for Kids: What Parents Should Do
As a parent, you can play a key role in instilling the love of reading in your children. Children are fully capable of learning to read at a young age. With your support, your preschoolers can get a head start in developing their reading skills at home.
The home environment you set is one of the best places for young children to learn to read. Rather than allowing your kids to waste hours of precious time watching TV or playing silly computer games, why not introduce them to fun and educational reading programs that can set them on the path to develop a love for reading? By teaching your preschooler to read, you give them an edge in reaching their full academic potential. Reading for kids is an important aspect of your role as a parent.
There are numerous early learning reading programs that are specifically designed to teach preschoolers to read. Programs such as Little Readers, Brainzy Math and Reading Program, Headsprout Kids Reading Program, Jolly Phonics and Hooked on Phonics have been highly successful in teaching children reading skills at an early age.
Parents can also take advantage of reading websites for kids to introduce them to the wonder world of reading. Examples of such websites are:
- Teach your Monster to Read
- Reading Bear
- Get Ready to Read
- Reading Rockets
- Reading to Learn
Teaching your child to read at home can be a challenging and rewarding experience. It’s a great way of bonding with your children as they develop this skill of significant importance. Kids also benefit from the individual attention you give them at home.
Reading gives your kids a fun and educational way to spend their free time while you cook, clean or take care of other household chores. By investing in books with educational and moral value, you can contribute to your child’s character while strengthening their literacy skills.
Reading for Kids: Why You Should Start Early
Of all the academic skills a young child can learn, reading is the most essential. The following are some of the many benefits your children can gain by learning to read at an early age:
- Teaching your child to read at an early age activates their brain, making it easier to learn sounds, language patterns and vocabulary.
- Early readers develop a love for books sooner. This interest could very well extend throughout their lifetime.
- Good reading skills not only enhance academic success, but increase a child’s confidence and self-esteem. Children who feel confident about themselves are more likely to adjust better in school and have a more positive outlook on their future.
- Reading for kids at an early age helps them become more competent readers, due to having extra years of practice.
- Books help satisfy a child’s natural curiosity and spark greater creativity and imagination.
In contrast, poor reading skills can adversely affect a child in every area of their life. Poor reading skills make it more difficult to perform well at school as all subjects require that a child knows how to read. Studies show that teenagers who experience reading difficulties are more liable to give up on their education altogether, further contributing to the dropout rate.
As a parent, you’ll always have the greatest influence on your child’s life. Teaching them to read opens the door for your kids to reach their full potential. Your involvement in the early years of your child’s education will have a positive effect on their learning abilities later on. By spending time teaching your kids to read, you help stimulate their intellect, raise their curiosity, expand their knowledge and improve their thinking skills.
Reading for Kids: It Enhances Their Literacy Skills
Parents who read to their children often increase their capacity and motivation for learning. This helps your children to do better once they enter primary school. Reading to your children can also enhance their literacy skills by improving their comprehension, increasing vocabulary, activating logical thinking, etc. Here are just a few of the many skills your kids can cultivate through oral reading:
From the time your child is a baby, he or she is constantly learning speech and language skills by listening to surrounding conversations. As your toddler and preschooler listens to you read, he or she gains practice in enunciating new words, expanding vocabulary and learning how to put words together to form sentences. Reading for kids is one of the best ways to enhance their speech skills.
Children can learn how to express themselves and interact with others by seeing how the characters in their storybooks talk and relate to each other. Choosing edifying stories is a must so children can copy good examples of communicating with others. Taking time to interact with your kids as you read will also help them develop their communications skills.
Basic Book Reading Skills
During story time, kids can learn pre-reading skills such as reading text from left to right and distinguishing words from images on a page.
In order to understand a story, children need to learn to focus and concentrate on what’s being read. If they don’t listen, they lose out on what’s happening in the story. Oral reading teaches young children to focus and listen, a valuable skill that they will definitely need when they start their formal education.
The more they listen, the more children comprehend what the story is about and the lesson it’s trying to teach. Through oral reading, you can improve your kids’ comprehension and memory retention skills. After listening to favorite stories over and over again, preschoolers are often able to retell these stories in their own words and explain their moral values.
Reading will open up a brand new world for your children. Smart parents will be selective in their choice of books they will read for kids, making sure they’re age appropriate and have an educational or a moral value. You can find an extensive collection of reading books for kids in bookstores, local libraries and on the Internet. Online reading for kids gives you access to a wide range of children’s books, all of which are simplified and appropriate for children. By choosing wisely, your children can enjoy years of happy reading that will enrich their lives in the present and the future.