It’s only a few more weeks until the school holidays, which means no homework pressure and more time for you and your children to read for the pure and utter pleasure of it!
Reading builds your child’s comprehension and vocabulary. A recent study released by Ohio State University found there was a 1.4-million-word gap between preschoolers who are read to 5 times a day and those who are never read to. But reading teaches so much more than just vocabulary.
Reading teaches children about
- friendships and relationships
- love and family
- resilience and perseverance
- diversity and empathy
Older children love being read to. It allows them time to just experience the story. It exposes them to new authors and genres and topics, and challenging content helps build empathy and awareness. Books such The Little Refugee, by Ahn Do, or The Burnt Stick, by Anthony Hill, provide you with the opportunity to have conversations about life and the circumstances that others encounter. Research shows that social and political conversations between parents and children is absolutely vital to support academic success.
Reading builds creativity and critical thinking. It builds brain power. Reading well means reflecting on what we read, understanding it deeply and relating it to our own life experience.
These holidays get off the devices and think about entertainment that puts reading at the centre of your time together. Visit your local library or set up a ‘box of books’ to share. Go a step further and become an author. Write your own books and set up a publishing house. Let your children tell their own stories and put them into the ‘box of books’ for sharing.
Now is the time to create memories around books and the invaluable pursuit of reading. Do it daily, and do it with joy. It really is one of the most important things you can do for your children.
You can find Mary on Facebook at Teacher at the Gate a place where expert teachers partner with parents to better understanding their children’s journey through school.