Keeping Children’s Minds Strong

Keeping Children’s Minds Strong

Words | Mary Ryan

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn the more places you’ll go. Dr Seuss

Dr Seuss summed it up perfectly. Reading underpins learning and has the potential to take children to extraordinary places of enjoyment and knowledge. But just like our physical selves, we need to keep our mind fit and reading does just that.

Running, jumping, kicking and playing keeps children’s heart, bones and muscles strong. Reading keeps children’s minds strong, builds their knowledge bank, improves comprehension and extends vocabulary. It is reported that regular reading develops analytical thinking skills, by this we mean, reading text and anticipating what may happen in a story, why it happens, how it happens and making sense of the plot and characters. Talking about the books read is not only a fabulous way for families to connect, it also helps to develop these analytical skills.

We know that reading also improves a child’s skill as a writer. Greater exposure to the written word builds their own tool-kit for writing. This would include having an expansive vocabulary to draw on and exposure to different writing styles, skills and craft of other authors.

Reading also requires focus and concentration and builds memory as we connect the plot, characters and information in the text. We need to focus, concentrate, retain and recall information, particularly as texts become more complex.

Most importantly, reading provides mental stimulation, requiring the brain to work to decode abstract symbols, synthesize the ideas and make meaning while providing a sense of relaxation and escape.  And if you join a library, you get all this brain exercise for free!

If your child is struggling to learn to read be determined to expose them to the written word through sharing books with them, reading to them and of course, audio books. Talk to them about the reading, the new words and the old words used differently. Talk to them about the story, the knowledge, the characters and the plot. Talk to them about what you liked and didn’t like in a book and why. Let them see you sit and read for the quiet solitude that it offers, the entry into another world that a story provides.

We actively encourage our children to run, jump, play and move to stay fit, healthy and strong. Reading is fitness for the mind. It’s the running, jumping and moving of the intellectual and academic world and we should encourage our children to read daily, getting them fit and keeping them fit for learning.

#fitforlearning #readdaily #readtogether #betterreading #teacheratthegate

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.

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