We do love books in this country and they are a major part of our children’s education and growing up. However with the advent of technology reading is becoming less popular and sadly this can lead to a negative effect on a child’s brain development. Reading is a critical part of a child’s learning ability. It encourages comprehension, writing fluency, speaking fluency and critical thinking. Not only will these things benefit a child’s educational development but also their personal and professional relationships throughout their lives. Picking up a book regularly has also been shown to develop confidence and empathy. If a child starts to read independently it will really improve their emotional well being and emotional intelligence.
Reading for Fun
Making reading fun is a sure fire way to help children develop into intelligent, thoughtful, creative adults. In order to make reading fun, the subject matter really has a capture the child’s imagination as this will encourage and motivate them to keep reading for pleasure and therefore learn more. When reading is a fun activity it immediately relaxes the reader which is good on so many levels. This relaxation provides an escape from daily life, stresses and problems. In fact, it has been found that the ‘relationship between reading for pleasure and wellbeing is particularly interesting, with evidence showing a correlation between reading for pleasure regularly and lower levels of stress and depression’ (The Reading Agency). Not only can it have a profound effect on mental health but reading also allows anybody to access worlds and people they might never experience in their own communities. It inspires us to think about the world and create stories of our own. This either encourages us to explore these things for ourselves or influences the type of careers we choose and lives we eventually lead. Without the pleasure of reading a child is less likely to pick up a book out of free choice and this could lead to them miss out on all the benefits that are literally at their fingertips.
Reading from a Young Age
It seems the key to getting your children reading well and frequently is something that is indoctrinated from a young age. Research has shown that primary school-aged children are more likely to take up this hobby if their parents read aloud to them at least five days a week, especially if this starts before children are old enough to go to nursery school. Once this habit is formed it will make school work easier and become a long life habit that will benefit them forever.
Children will grow up to see reading as fun and therefore continue to be something they choose to do. The Reading Agency conducting a report that ‘brings together a strong and growing body of research that shows how and why reading for pleasure can bring a range of other benefits to individuals and society’. Their key finding was that as well as improving general wellbeing and lowering stress, brain development will be dramatically increased if reading is an enjoyable activity.
The report commission by The Reading Agency is called ‘Literature Review: The impact of reading for pleasure and empowerment’ and can be found here.