How frequently SHOULD your child be READING at home?
67% of Children Read Weekly for Fun – But Is it Enough?
A recent survey of Mums with children aged 2 – 12 revealed that two-thirds of children in this age group still read books at least once a week for fun.
Perhaps reassuringly, more children read books weekly than play on an iPad or other tablet/mobile device. But is two thirds enough? Should we be worried that not all children from 2 – 12 are reading a book at least once a week? How frequently should your child be reading at home?
The Benefits of Reading from a Young Age
It’s not easy trying to read to a baby who’s more concerned with trying to chew the book than taking in a story. But there are several benefits for those who persevere and build up healthy reading habits for their children.
- Research shows that children aged between 10 and 16 who read for fun perform better at school. By starting early and building a lifelong love of books, you encourage your baby or toddler to begin reading for fun in the long term.
- The same research found that reading outside of school is more important for a child’s cognitive development than the education level of their parents.
- Reading to young children also assists in the development of speech skills.
- Reading from a young age is linked, unsurprisingly, with literacy. But literacy offers far more benefits than you might expect. UNESCO’s Why Literacy Matters paper describes how literacy enhances self-esteem, how it increases the likelihood of political participation and even offers health benefits.
So it’s easy to see the benefits of reading, but how often should children be doing so?
It’s widely recommended that children should read daily, even if only for 15 minutes each day.
Yet the survey from this year suggests a third of children aren’t even reading for fun once a week.
Are we setting ourselves up for a decline in literacy rates as a host of other toys and technologies compete for our children’s attention?
And if is something that concerns you with your children, then check out http://www.booktrust.org.uk/ for advice on getting your children reading.
(Geoff: Writing, reading and spelling go hand in hand. We have a couple of free resources that may be able to help you. See below.)
Many thanks to Stacey Mcnaught for writing this useful post.
If you get the chance it's well worth checking out the survey referred to - some very interesting stats on parenting!