If you are looking for 10 reasons why reading is important for children then you have come to the right place!
Given that I am obsessed with books, it was safe to say that my children would be inundated with books from an early age.
And of course that’s exactly happened. Their early years were filled with more books and reading than I ever thought was humanly possible.
Back then I’m pretty sure our bookshelf contained over 200 children’s books and it was stock standard to read at least five to ten picture books before bed every night – this doesn’t even count the books we read throughout the day.
Now aged 14 and 11 I can’t say my kid’s noses are constantly buried in a book (like mine was at their age) because hey, they aren’t.
But coincidentally they both do exceptionally well at school, particularly in English which I like to say – wink, wink – is not a coincidence.
Recently my son enrolled to go to high school, which he begins next year. At the opening, the principal stood up and spoke to future parents about the importance of reading EVEN NOW AT AN OLDER AGE with your child.
He claimed that reading makes the world of difference when it comes to academic success which I wholeheartedly agree with.
HERE ARE THE TOP 10 REASONS WHY READING IS SO IMPORTANT FOR KIDS
1 It expands your child’s vocabulary.
The more your child reads, the more familiar he or she becomes with the thousands of words that exist in the English language.
If your child comes across a word they have never heard of before they should be encouraged to pull out a dictionary or ask about the meaning of that unfamiliar word. Make sure they always have one on hand!
They need to also remember that knowledge is power and the more he or she knows, the more you can do with that knowledge and understanding.
2 It improves their spelling and grammar
The best way to learn how to spell correctly is to see how words are correctly spelled. And the best way to learn about grammar is to see how other people correctly compose their sentence structure.
This is how children learn about punctuation, adjectives, verbs, metaphors, composition and all the other important elements of writing – by seeing it in practice. Reading gives your child a powerful lesson in these matters every time they open a book up.
3 Reading makes them better writers
It is fair to say that a gift for writing is intricately linked with a love for reading.
The best writers are usually voracious readers, with a love and respect for the written word. Read HERE why writing is so incredibly important for kids.
4 It helps them to dream big
Reading is an excellent way to relax and discover new things about the world. Books teach us about things we would have never known about otherwise.
They encourage students to gain a different perspective on life. More importantly books encourage your child to stretch their minds and dream big about the wide world they live in.
5 It teaches them to be more compassionate and empathetic
What better way to get inside someone else’s head and see things from their perspective than by reading a book?
By reading books, your child gains instant access into the author’s mind and teaches them to become more compassionate, empathetic and understanding about other lives and thoughts,
6 Reading is a practical skill
When kids think of reading, they often think of the books they are forced to read in school when in reality it extends much further than that.
Kids need to be able to read signs out in public. They need to be able to read a recipe if they want to make something from a cookbook. Later in life they will have lease agreements and employee contracts to contend with.
The more they read, the more they will find all of these things less intimidating, especially schoolwork which requires good reading skills on a daily basis.
To get your kids started early check out this post on sight words for struggling readers.
Here’s another great post on 12 ways to have fun with sight words.
7 It gives them confidence
The more your child reads, the more they will learn and understand about the world.
Confidence comes from knowing you can do something well and when you read regularly this positively impacts your writing skills which – let’s face it = positively impacts so many other areas in your life, both in school and the outside world.
Through reading, your child will gain knowledge about new subjects and have a better sense of comprehension because they have devoted the time to understand another person’s viewpoint.
Through reading they will grow and learn to form their own opinions about the world.
They say that five years from today you will be the same person you are today except for the BOOKS YOU READ and the PEOPLE YOU MEET.
So allow books into your child’s life and encourage reading to help your children grow.
8 Reading is relaxing
Rather than being glued to their PS4s or iPads, books offer kids an alternative form of entertainment which costs nothing (if books are borrowed from the library) but offers them so many other amazing benefits.
- Read this whole blog post again to see how reading can positively impact a child’s life *.
Not only that but reading is fun, relaxing and a great way to unwind and escape to another world when one has extra time on their hands.
9 Reading encourages creativity and enhances their imagination
A great fiction books encourages you to imagine worlds you didn’t think were possible and people who feel so real you can’t imagine they don’t really exist.
The written word forces children to paint pictures inside their head and envisage what something and someone would look like in real life. This enhances both their creativity and imagination.
10 Reading positively impacts academic success
Coming back to the principal of my son’s future high school who was adamant that readers are more successful academically at school – I truly believe there is truth in that statement.
Reading in all forms requires commitment from a child – to read a story until the end, to try and understand the message being conveyed.
Throughout school your children will constantly be required to read and read well to succeed in school.
When they are given a task or assessment, do they properly comprehend what is being asked of them?
When they are given a textbook to read, do they have the necessary skills to process and understand the information being given to them?
Do they have the time and patience to actually sit down and read a longer amount of text?
Reading will help them gain those necessary skills they need to succeed academically without stress and worry.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP INSTILL A LOVE FOR READING IN YOUR CHILD
I have to say I absolutely LOVE the task suggested by my son’s future principal who said:
GET YOUR CHILD TO READ ALOUD TO YOU ON A DAILY BASIS
Nope it doesn’t matter how old your child is. Whether they are five or fifteen, sit down next to them in bed every day and get them to read a story aloud to you.
Even if they baulk at the suggestion or think it sounds too babyish I promise you the payback and reward will be worth more than the initial awkwardness.
All kids, no matter what their age, secretly love the time and attention that comes from spending some one-on-one time with a parent, when the rest of their days are filled with busyness.
They may pretend they hate it but do it together anyway. Make that your special time together in a world where reading is often underappreciated and undervalued.
I should note that it doesn’t matter if your child isn’t reading a literary work. Even if you sit down together to read the comics or a newspaper that’s fine.
It is the ACT OF READING anything together that matters.
So carve out some time in your schedule to spend with your child. Show your kids not through just words BUT ACTION that you believe reading is fun and beneficial to them in life.
Also lead by example – read more books yourself if you don’t currently have the reading bug. Go to the library and borrow something that interests you. It can be fiction or non-fiction – all that matters is that you find it interesting.
Talk about the books you read with your kids.
What do you love about the book you are reading?
What do you dislike about it?
Is it predictable or are there some fun plot twists?
Whether you are a keen reader yourself for not, the truth is READING IS INDEED IMPORTANT and doing so regularly will impact your child’s life positively in so many ways.
So please do your best to encourage a love for reading. You won’t regret it, I promise!
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