Why Reading is Important
One of the most important skills any child will learn is how to read. Studies have shown that in countries where students show very high levels of reading comprehension and proficiency, also have high levels of proficiency in science and math. This is easy to understand because if one is unable to read and understand, one cannot possibly do homework without help, read a science lesson, study for a test or know how to approach a mathematical word problem.
It Takes Practice to Read
Any new skill should be practiced in order to be mastered, reading is no exception. Reading has several different interrelated elements to learn, which include word comprehension, decoding, vocabulary and fluency, making it a very complex skill. Even though children have plenty of opportunities to practice reading while in school, any extra time they can practice at home is also very helpful. The more a child practices a new skill, the easier that new skill will become.
Simple Ways You Can Encourage at Home Reading
The following are some ways you can encourage your children to read at home.
• Create a “literate home” –
A literate home is a home that presents reading opportunities all around. Have age-appropriate books and magazines, cookbooks, chapter books and picture books available for your child at all times. Look for ways to emphasize how important reading is, for example if your child asks a question, you can reply by saying, “Let’s look that up.” Use high quality websites, a thesaurus, or a dictionary to find and read about subjects which interest your child.
• Create a Book Nook –
If there is a cozy place in your home or your child’s room, create a book nook as a special hide-away for reading. Get a book shelf, find out your child’s favorite books and authors, and stock the book shelf with them. Add to the nook a soft afghan, a few fluffy pillows, or a bean-bag chair; anything that makes the area appealing and cozy. Keep your children on their toes by sometimes sneaking some new books into the nook that you know they will love.
• Go High Tech –
Many of today’s children are interested in electronics. Use this interest to focus them on reading through magazines and books. Your child can also download interesting magazines and books to an e-reader like the Kindle or iPad, and some libraries also loan them out as downloadable books.
• Set a Good Example –
The first step is telling your child about how important reading is, but another step that is equally important is showing them by your own actions. Have discussions with your child about the books you read and why you like them. Invite your child to see what you view on the internet such as the weekend weather, the kind of bird you saw outside on the window sill, or how to make s’mores. There are many ways to show your child how rewarding reading can be.
When you make reading an important part of the everyday life of your child, you will improve their ability to learn. Additional information about how important reading at home is and the many ways you can incorporate it into your child’s life can be found on the PBS website, Reading Rockets. Your child’s teacher may have given your child some vocabulary words as homework for the upcoming week.
Private School Jacksonville, Hendricks Day School focuses on teaching your child how to think. Contact us for a tour of our school in Jacksonville: 904-720-0398.