Teachers and parents place a great deal of importance on reading without asking why the ability to read so important. Before we had writing, we still survived and we still learned – so what is it that this invention gives us? Perhaps the answer is obvious, but it’s still worth thinking about.
Reading is to the mind what exercising is to the body
Children begin life as observers and listeners, learning to imitate and understand what those around us are doing and saying – and then we learn to walk, talk and communicate at more advanced levels. As we grow, we’re tutored in the skills of reading and writing using different vocabularies, different scripts, and in different contexts. We learn this skill to access other areas of learning through books or online. In our modern world, it’s a fundamental and basic requirement for every child to learn to read.
Immersing yourself in a book has the ability to unlock your imagination, transporting you into a world of wonder and unlimited possibilities. This in turn helps to expand your vocabulary, improving memory and focus. Reading promotes logical thinking along with providing a lifelong, enjoyable hobby. It helps at every age with communication skills as younger children benefit from being able to explain themselves, while older children having greater confidence in presentations, debates, and conversations.
Parents can also use reading as a way to build stronger relationships with their children. Reading a story based on a developmental milestone, or a social situation can help ease children’s stress levels and encourage them to talk and share feelings with their parents. For instance, if your little one is nervous about starting school, reading a story dealing with this topic shows their feelings are normal and nothing to worry about.
An article in British newspaper The Daily Telegraph highlighted a study revealing that children benefit more from their father reading them bedtime stories than their mother. It cited a study by Harvard University in the US that questions posed by men when reading to children were found to have sparked “imaginative discussions”.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appears to be leading the way after he posted a picture of himself reading a baby book about quantum physics to his daughter. This may be a marketing ploy, but perhaps it also highlights the alternative approach a father may take to reading with their children.
Reading should to be part of a child’s daily routine to enhance their speech and academic development. At home, parent and child can make a special place, a ‘reading nest’ or ‘reading den’ using floor cushions, bookshelves, or even bed sheets. Children love to find a quiet spot and huddle down to immerse themselves in a book.
Parents can impart a love of reading by showing enthusiasm and excitement when reading books and making sure that they read too, in front of their children. Remember, from the moment they’re born, children imitate and admire their parents and are more likely to pick up a book and read if it’s something they see their parents doing and enjoying.
At Compass International School Doha, libraries and librarians are an essential part of the learning process. School libraries support the curriculum, promote literacy development, increase children’s confidence and enjoyment of reading, and foster lifelong reading habits through the development of carefully-selected print collections. They also promote sophisticated picture-books and easy reading fiction as ‘quick reads’ for older children, helping to encourage struggling readers to find books that suit their abilities.
So, pick up a book and read with your children. Pick up a book and allow your imagination to take you on a journey into another world. If you’re looking for inspiration, why not have a look at our selected book list here, set out by age range. Don’t delay, pick up a book today.
What’s on your bestseller reading list this winter season? Drop us a line and tell us which books for children and youth you’d add to this list! Also, don’t forget to like and share this article!
(Words by Simon Porter)
(Images courtesy of Compass International School Doha)
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