If you’re reading this right now, then you can thank your ability to read for that. Reading is obviously important to be able to understand the words on the page, but it is also the foundation of your ability to learn and your ability to function effectively in the world. Do you remember learning to read as a child? Most of us don’t remember, but now, you can’t imagine your life without knowing how to read. You couldn’t understand anything on the internet without reading, you wouldn’t be able to text, or follow the recipe for your favourite curry to cook at home. Without the ability to read, you wouldn’t be able to do something as simple as reading the labels on your clothes to find the washing instructions.
It’s easy to see why reading is so important. Learning to read is also incredibly important for your children. As they grow up, they will need to gain strong reading skills in order to get through school successfully and get into their future career. As you go through the struggles of getting your kids to actually practice their reading to stay on track and to view reading as fun instead of homework, remember these reasons why reading is important for kids.
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- It expands their vocabulary. While reading, your children might come across words that they haven’t heard before. This should prompt them to find out what they mean. As a result, they add the new word to their vocabulary. Teach them how to look up words in the dictionary, so they can lead their own learning without having to ask you or turn to Google to find out what a word means.
- It makes them better at it. Practice makes perfect, as the old saying goes. The best way for your child to get better at reading is for them to just do it. Make sure there’s plenty of things available for your child to read, so they can pick up a book any time they feel like it.
- It helps build independence and self-confidence. As your children learn that they no longer have to rely on you to read things to them, they will start to develop a greater sense of independence and confidence. Through being able to read, they can start to build an understanding of the world on their own.
- It keeps them safe. Lots of important things that keep people safe have words on them. Traffic signs and warning labels have words on them, for example. Reading will allow your kids to understand when something says that it could harm them, such as the warning label on cleaning supplies that tells them the contents is toxic.
- It helps them make sense of the world around them. As your child learns to read they will be better able to determine what different things around them say, whether’s signs or stickers and labels. Being able to read will help your child to understand what is what and what purpose things serve.
- It leads to their future academic success. A child must be able to read in order to progress at all through school. Reading is essential if they are going to be able to follow the instructions on the test and be able to understand and answer the questions. If you’re worried, you can try measuring reading level to make sure they’re on track.
- It enhances their imagination. As a child reads, they will begin to imagine where the characters are and what they look like. They can create their own little world. Reading improves their imagination by forcing them to picture what the character looks like and who they are.
- It entertains them. Reading gives them something good to do, especially once they can start to read chapter books without pictures, pushing to really get into their imagination and really get into the book too.
- It improves their grammar. As they read, your child will be able to see how the author has composed their sentence structure and grammar. This can also help to improve their communication skills as they work out how things should be read, using clues like punctuation.
- It improves their writing skills. As reading improves vocabulary, communication and grammar, it also improves your child’s writing skills too.
Reading is needed for just about everything in life, whether it’s just getting through school or learning skills for adulthood from cooking to driving. It’s important to start at a young age and teach your child how important (and fun) reading is so they will practice their reading, and value their ability to read.