“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” – Margaret Fuller
Often, people tend to question themselves as to why reading is so important. Why kill all your time on reading? Why spend more time on words?
Evidence shows that the children that do focus on reading and find pleasure in so doing, are very likely to have an expansive base on vocabulary, high general knowledge as well as an improved understanding of other people’s culture. It is a matter of fact that trough reading, a child’s capability to flourish at school more than in social or economic ventures can be analysed through reading. The third grade is always the turning point for students because they no longer “learn to read” but rather they “read to learn” and this tends to be a very great turning point for the students themselves.
Research shows that 66 % of fourth graders scored ‘below proficient’ on the 2013 National Assessment of Education Program (NAEP) reading test which demonstrates that they are not at their grade’s reading level. This shows a lag in the reading and leaning strategies that are in place to aid for better education and learning systems. This is a very critical issue to acknowledge.
As a result, children are four times more likely to fail to graduate high school if they are not at par with their grade’s reading level. Even more distressing is the fact that among students from low-income backgrounds, 80 % scored below grading level in reading, which makes us recognize the fact that lack of resources such as books can immensely influence the reading level of a child.
5 Essential Reading Components
Reading by itself is a very astoundingly complex and cognitive process. It might be considered as a singular act but rather it is a much intertwined fusion of 5 tasks that are simultaneous. Children who read regularly are prone to hone these 5 skills with ease.
- Phonics – the connection between letter symbols and sounds.
- Phonemic awareness – the ability to manipulate and notice sounds in a word.
- Vocabulary – the ability to understand the meaning of the word while reading or writing.
- Fluency – the ability to read with speed, accuracy and expression.
- Comprehension – the ability to understand while reading.
What parents can do?
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” — Emilie Buchwald
Parents are clearly the most influential educators in a child’s life, some could say even more influential than a teacher, as they spend the greater amount of time with their children. Their relationship with the children as their early mentors makes it possible to influence their reading and learning ways to be more of readers. Below are some things that parents could indulge in:
- It is said that babies can recognize their parents’ voice from inside the womb itself. Reading to your baby from the time they are born expands their exposure to language.
- Reading aloud to your child helps in building the child’s interest.
- Pointing out the words and pictures and sharing your ideas about the book can also help a lot.
- Surrounding your child with books is another good strategy. It doesn’t mean that you have to pile them up with books rather visiting libraries and bookshops is one of the great ideas that you could indulge the child in.
- Notably don’t pester your kids with meaningful words or stories all the time. Let them savor the book in their own way.