Studies show that reading for pleasure has a positive impact on children’s educational performance. Likewise, evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading assessments than those who do not, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures.
It is so important for children to read – it really can make a difference! Feedback tells us that children are missing their teachers, but did you know, it is actually parents who are the most important educators in a child’s life – yes, even more important than their teachers! And it is never too early to start reading together or being a good role model by reading yourself or encouraging your child to read a variety of texts.
For our youngest of students, learning to read is about listening and understanding as well as working out what is printed on the page. Through hearing stories, children are exposed to a wide range of words. This helps them build their own vocabulary and improve their understanding when they listen, which is vital as they start to read. It is important for them to understand how stories work too. Even if your child does not understand every word, they will hear new sounds, words and phrases which they can then try out, copying what they have heard.
Irrespective of language, or whether your child is only just beginning to learn to read or whether they are fluent, you can play an important role in helping to keep them interested in books. Take this unexpected opportunity to find out what interests your child, help them to find books that will be engaging and fun, and spend time reading together.
We really do need to highlight the importance of reading. As parents, we need to prioritise reading in a child’s school years to help them to succeed later in life. After all, as Dr Seuss would say “The more that you read, the more you will know, the more that you know, the more places you will go”.
Ms Katherine Weir-Davis
Head of DUCKS