Reading opens up a world of possibilities for children. While lost in a book, your children are transported to another world, full of exciting characters and scenarios. The power of their imaginations is enhanced by every line they read. Their wonder at every new word they learn teaches them to be curious and ask questions about the world around them.
Reading is a fundamental part of any child’s development. It’s more than just fuel for their imaginations, regular reading can improve your child’s vocabulary and comprehension skills, especially if they start early. Reading is a great and fun way to train children’s brains and should form a part of their daily routines.
The Benefits of Regular Reading for Children
As we’ve mentioned, reading is a great way to expand your child’s mind, get their imaginations working hard and help their brains develop. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the benefits of regular reading
Larger vocabulary and better academic performance
One of the best things about children reading often and early on is that they’re exposed to a lot of new words and concepts that they might not be otherwise. It’s one thing to pick up words through films and overhearing conversations, but to see them written and contextualised is something else entirely.
Studies have shown that children with a limited vocabulary begin to struggle academically. Many students are leaving primary school with a limited vocabulary that’s below what’s expected for their age and that has a knock-on effect on their learning ability.
While children might not understand all of the words they’re reading early on, they can come to you or their teachers to ask for help and expand their vocabulary.
In this way, reading teaches children that it’s okay to not know everything but if they want to understand, they need to go out and learn the answers. It encourages children to ask questions about language, and develop a deeper understanding as they find out the answers.
This can lead to better academic performance – when children are unsure about a subject, they won’t be afraid to put their hand up and ask for more information.
Improved imagination and creativity
Watching films and television is a great way to keep children’s attention and can be an important part of their development, like with reading. However, unlike reading, visual media doesn’t quite engage their imagination in the same way. Once children are ready to start reading, they’ll start off with picture books that help contextualise words and get a basic grasp on written language.
When they’re ready to start reading books without pictures though, that’s when their imaginations can really run wild. They’ll be able to see characters and fictional worlds in their own, unique way. By expanding their vocabulary as well as feeding their imagination, reading early on can really boost children’s creativity and allow them to approach academic problems and situations from different perspectives to find creative solutions.
Speaking of approaching things from different perspectives, did you know that reading can help children get an early understanding of empathy?
Something a lot of children struggle with early on is empathy. Reading fiction is usually a game of role-playing. Children are given the opportunity to experience scenarios from a character’s point of view. It’s a great chance for them to understand how other people experience things differently, and to also question how they might react in those situations, and question why the characters acted the way they did.
When was the last time you struggled to read a book after a long break from not having read anything? You know all too well that if you take a break from reading, it can have a bit of an impact on your concentration. You’ll find it harder to get stuck back in the next time you get a moment to yourself.
The same goes for children. When they find a really engaging book that keeps them gripped with its exciting story, it can help boost their concentration, not just for reading but for focusing on other tasks too. This will help them out at school, keeping them motivated through classes and, when it comes to that time, helps them stay focused on their revision so they can get the best marks in their exams.
Explore Learning’s 4 Ways to Encourage Children to Read
We’ve looked at the benefits of your child’s reading, and we know that if your child doesn’t regularly read that they’ll start to struggle academically. So, how can you encourage your child to read? Here are 4 ways Explore Learning suggests.
Start reading early
The earlier you start reading with children, the more interested and engaged they’ll be with it later on. Even before they’re reading or writing themselves, you can help your child. They can still understand your voice and they can “read” pictures, so they can start getting an understanding of the importance of language early on.
Read with them
Even once your child has started to read and write on their own, it’s still a good idea to engage with them. You can give them a little rest for a minute and try reading to them, or you can let them read to you. Reading aloud can really help with building that vocabulary of theirs and their understanding of written and spoken language, not to mention you can help with any words they might be struggling to pronounce.
Make it a routine
By making your child’s reading a part of your routine, you’re showing them that you’re interested in what they’re doing and learning. It’s a great way to ensure that they’re reading regularly and bonding over that with you. It’s also a good way to make sure they don’t get overwhelmed or fatigued by reading too much in one go – you can just do a few pages or a chapter each day.
Don’t be discouraged if you miss a day either, you can always pick it back up tomorrow.
Talk about what they’re reading
Show that you’re interested and help your child with getting a better understanding of what they’re reading by talking about it. Help them out with any words or sentences that might’ve confused them a bit, or ask them questions.
Work on their empathy by asking how they felt about the way characters handled certain situations, and ask them what they’d do instead. By engaging with them beyond just reading the book and then putting it down, you’re keeping their excitement going so your child is encouraged to get lost in the pages again.
Make Reading Exciting with Explore Learning
At Explore Learning we understand the importance of reading and children developing their language and comprehension skills at an early age. Our expert English tutors will get children engaged with not only reading but creative writing as well.
We help children engage their imaginations by writing characters and scenarios to get them using language emotively and creatively. This exciting approach really helps children that need an extra hand with their English language skills and will boost their confidence in both reading and writing throughout their life.
To find out more, book a free trial with Explore Learning. Contact us via our bloss profile for more information.