It should come as no surprise to most parents that reading is fundamental. It’s something children start learning as early as preschool, even beforehand actually. Teaching your tiny tot their ABC’s is the beginning stages of getting them prepared to read. Literacy is a skill that most of us, including all of us able to read this blog post right now, take for granted. Imagine a world where everywhere you looked, words were foreign to you. You couldn’t read a street sign or the menu at a restaurant or even the report your teen wrote on World War II. It would be a daily frustration and you would lead a life full of setbacks.
Just as it is important to be able to read for daily living, it is even more important to be a fluent reader and the effects of fluency can be seen from grade school on up. Being able to read fluently allows your child to be successful in their academic life, not just in their personal. We’re going to break down some of the benefits of being a strong reader and show you how reading ties into their development and education. Literacy is knowledge and Knowledge is power. We’re sure once you’ve seen that correlation, you’ll be motivated to encourage your child to read and if they struggle, to sit down with them and help guide them through.
Strengthen Verbal Communication
When you read to your child or they read to you, they are building and strengthening their verbal communication skills. Having strong language skills not only helps your child in school, but as an adult, it will help them once they begin working. When you browse job listings, one of the skill-sets mentioned in almost every single ad is strong communication skills. It’s also important that one can stand up for themselves and express their ideas. The stronger their verbal communication skills are, the better they will be able to do that. If they are struggling with a concept being taught in science, or think they received an unjust grade on an essay, they need to be able to articulate that thought to their teacher. Verbal communication skills come into play on a daily basis.
So, how do you begin helping them sharpen this skill? Read, read, read! Read to them, read with them, and listen to them read. Take turns reading chapters of a book before bed each night. If they struggle with certain words or sounds, help them stretch the word and sound it out. Mastering this skill is critical for mentally sounding out difficult words they may encounter in their life. If you have younger children at home, start this at a young age. Young children can even learn several languages with ease so take advantage of that and expand their vocabulary (and horizons)!
Strengthen Written Communication
The ability to be a strong writer is a valuable skill to have, regardless of someone’s age. Being able to put pen-to-paper and articulately express an idea or thought is something every person should be able to do. Your student is continuously asked to write papers or answers to detailed questions during their school career. A student with low written communication skills will not be able to make the grade like their fellow classmate who can construct a well-written answer. Reading is one of the top ways that your child can improve their writing skills. When someone reads well-constructed sentences in literary pieces, they are learning what excellent written communication looks like via each sentence in the book.
Advance Critical Thinking
Students are always being asked to think critically. They need to be able to read a problem, break down the information, and then craft a well thought out answer. This is asked of every student, across all subjects. Teachers like to get their wheels turning and make them digest the information they read, think about the possible answers, then determine what the best answer is. Exercises like these are all part of developing a student’s logic and critical thinking. Reading helps students learn how to make connections between abstract ideas. Reading also helps them learn how to think through problems and/or situations in a logical manner. These decision making skills will help them at all stages of their lives.
Strengthen Comprehension Skills
It’s one thing for someone to be able to read at a decent rate of speed, but it’s an entirely different thing when someone can read fluently and comprehend what is being read. The more time someone spends reading, the more their comprehension skills develop. Being able to retain and learn what was read is a super important skill that needs to be mastered. When this skill is learned, students’ academic performance is bound to improve. Since they now comprehend what was being taught, their time spent studying and reviewing the coursework will be much more efficient. They will be able to digest new information at a more rapid pace and will learn more the first time they read something when compared to in the past. Having the ability to take in new information, learn it, and retain it at a rapid speed is a very valuable skill not just in the academic arena, but in the work force as well.
Reading Is So Important
We’re sure it’s easy to see now more than ever, why reading is so vital to your child’s success both in school and after. Being able to fluently read sets them up for a successful future where the sky is the limit. It’s never too late to begin reading with your child, too. Be a good role model for them and let them see you enjoying the latest best-selling book. Kids of all ages tend to mimic their parents behavior so let them see that it’s fun to read. If your tween or teen is resisting reading or struggles to read for whatever reason, we may be able to help get them going and jumping their reading hurdles. Please reach out to any of our staff at My Virtual Academy by calling 800-297-2119.