The Importance of Reading Aloud to your Child through Elementary School
Three out of four parents of school-age children wish their children would read more books for fun, according to research conducted by Scholastic.* Scholastic’s research study looked for the factors that led to children becoming avid and frequent readers. Here are the highest correlating factors:
Strongly believe reading for fun is important
The study finds 86% of parents consider children reading for fun to be very important, whereas almost half of school-age children surveyed said they believe reading for fun is important. How can parents communicate the importance of reading for fun to their children? The study finds children who see their parents reading for their own enjoyment frequently are more likely to see reading as worthwhile and important. Another finding is children who live in homes where there are a lot of print books are more likely to believe in the importance in reading for fun.
Have parents who are frequent readers
Parents can increase their reading frequency by reading on their own and/or reading to their child. As we know, most parents value the importance of reading to their children from a young age. Once children learn to read, parents often encourage their children to read on their own and stop reading to their children. However, the study shows that nearly 50% of 6-8 year old children wish their parents had not stopped reading books to them and 86% said they really enjoy when parents read to them. Children gain exposure to new vocabulary and language skills. Having a set time of the day when you and your child each read your own books for fun is another way to increase frequency, and demonstrate the importance.
Rate themselves highly as enjoying reading
The better children become as readers, the more they say they enjoy reading. The study also shows that the majority of children prefer a print book to an eBook. However, some children report they are more likely to read for fun if it’s an eBook. The important thing is to try different approaches to determine your child’s preference.
Almost all school-age children say their favorite books are ones they picked out themselves. The majority of children say they want books that will make them laugh. Parents can do research into what are some of the best children’s books out there and give them to their children, but children will enjoy most reading the books they choose. Keeping these things in mind, parents can help direct their children to humorous books, but encourage their children to ultimately select their own book.
Parents can promote a higher reading frequency in their children by reading more for enjoyment, by reading with and reading to their children, and by helping their children to select books they enjoy. Continuing to read aloud to your child through elementary school is the best method to cultivate a child who reads for fun on his or her own.
Kumon Centers often have a library full of books for Kumon students to choose from because instructors aim to develop in children the love of reading books. Kumon’s Recommended Reading List includes many humorous stories and read-aloud books. Understanding the value in reading books for enjoyment, a Kumon Instructor can help your child in choosing a book to fit their reading level and interests. Parents are encouraged to read alongside or to their children to promote reading books more frequently.