Why reading for pleasure helps your child
There is good evidence to suggest that young people who read for pleasure daily perform better in reading skills tests than those who never do. However, a recent survey carried out by the National Literacy Trust has indicated a decline in the amount of time children and young people spend reading for pleasure. Here are some ways to help your child read more if they are reluctant to read.
What are the benefits of reading for pleasure?
- Pupils who say they enjoy reading for pleasure are more likely to score well on reading assessments compared to pupils who said they enjoyed reading less
- There is some evidence to show that reading for pleasure is a more important determinant of children’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic status
- It can have a positive impact on pupils’ emotional and social behaviour
- It can have a positive impact on text, comprehension, and grammar.
How do you improve a child’s independent reading?
- An important factor in developing reading for pleasure is providing choice – choice and interest are highly related
- Parents and the home environment are essential to the early teaching of reading and fostering a love of reading; children are more likely to continue to be readers in homes where books and reading are valued
- Reading for pleasure is strongly influenced by relationships between teachers and children, and children and families.
First learn how reading works so you can read easily.
High quality phonics teaching gives children a solid base on which to build as they progress through school. Children who master the mechanics of reading are well-placed to go on to develop a love of reading. The English Education Department is pushing phonics in schools and has established a phonics screening check for all students after year one. Here is further information about why they are spending so much money and energy on doing this.
Schools in New Zealand have also begun to teach phonics again the last few years. As a parent or grandparent you can make a big difference in a child’s ability to read easily and also to spell easily by making sure they understand the sound-letter relationships in words and teaching them phonics.
Make it fun and they learn faster. Play games with them so they they stay focused and interested, then they learn faster. For example you can play the game I invented with a six year old boy many years ago now. When you play The Weird Word Game they will learn while they are competing with you.
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