You find fewer and fewer teenagers who love to spend their spare time with their head stuck in a good book, usually it is all about social media and friends. As parents we need to create a love for reading at a young age so our kids can carry it with them as they grow older. I believe it is important to understand why reading is important for children.
Reading helps a child develop numerous basic literacy skills.
At a young age, it helps children identify letters and sounds, and eventually to put them together to make words. This, in turn, leads on to their vocabulary. The more a child reads, the quicker their vocabulary expands. They learn how to use their words and are encouraged to sound them out for themselves. Similarly, they are prompted to learn new words as they encounter words and phrases that they have not come across before. This, in turn, lets the child develop their reading comprehension.
Reading comprehension is the ability to understand exactly what is being said.
This is a vital skill when it comes to doing well in school and exams, and is something that many adults struggle with. Reading comprehension is the ability to understand exactly what is being said. This is a vital skill when it comes to doing well in school and exams, and is something that many adults struggle with.
How much should your child read every day?
Let’s ignore the reading done during school, and focus on out of school reading. These days, parents are encouraged to follow a reading schedule based on school grade. It is pretty straight forward:
You start with ten minutes reading in 1st grade, and you add ten minutes for every subsequent grade up to 6th grade.
That means my third grader should be reading about 30 minutes a day outside of school hours. I find the best way to do this is to create excitement about their book and get involved by asking them to share what they're reading. Cheyenne is in love with The Boxcar Children series right now and even reads it on her walk home from school. I remember reading it as a kid so I can reminisce over the stories as she shares them with me.
The task of getting your kids to read every day might seem challenging at first. If you approach reading time gradually your children will learn to enjoy it and you'll find that they start doing it on their own without reminders. The whole intent is to create a love for reading and not to make it feel like a chore. Many children don't like reading on their own at first so if you can read aloud with them and possibly take turns reading it becomes part of your routine and something you all will look forward to every day.
Remember that reading can be tiring because it involves a lot of concentration, and if your child is reading something beyond his or her capabilities, they simply won’t get the benefit out of it. Try to turn off the television or other distractions when it’s reading time, and don’t use the timeframes above as absolutes be flexible and have fun.
If your kids get tired or become frustrated, that’s fine. Put the book away. The whole purpose of daily reading it to make it fun not forced. Sit beside them and read your own book, kids always love imitating their parents!
How often do your kids read?