Updated: Jan 8, 2020
Carfax English tutors and educational experts all agree on one thing, and that is the importance of reading. Just like the body, the brain needs exercise to keep it healthy and active. Reading from a young age has a multitude of benefits and significance throughout different developmental stages in a child’s life.
To start reading as a passtime activity from a young age, allows children to develop basic language skills and vocabulary, early exposure to reading is directly correlated to more academic success, improving comprehension and writing skills.
Books create questions and answers. Reading develops a child's imagination, empathy for others, and critical thinking skills. Through reading, children can go to places they have never been before and experience the world through the eyes of others, providing a better understanding of the world and the people in it.
According to the Matthew Effect of reading, children who do not develop their reading skills will find it hard to catch up and develop these skills later on. This follows the premise of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, in that those that love to read and learn will read and learn more as time goes by, whereas those that struggle to read will struggle even more as classmates and reading material gets more advanced.
With all the important benefits of reading, how then can we encourage children to read over their summer holidays? Especially with the instant gratification of social media, video bloggers, and Fortnite!
Here are our tips to get your children reading this summer.
1. It is important to remember is that a love of reading should be encouraged; it should be seen as a fun, stress-free- relaxing activity, not a chore.
2. Reading aloud to young children can be a precious adult-child bonding experience, and is a great way to start children learning. This can also model the behaviour and lead to children reading aloud to younger siblings.
3. Sharing book recommendations with your children is also a precious bonding experience, even for older children, and can lead to discussions about favourite books, and more in-depth understanding of what they have been reading.
4. No child dislikes reading, they only dislike the books they have tried so far. That is why it is important to try to find books that will appeal to your child’s interests. Try to encourage your child to read series books, so that once they finish there is another book to dive back into.
5. Surrounding your child with a selection of books and ensuring the books are not too challenging, will ensure they are not deterred. These can be stored in a cosy reading nook.
The summer holidays is a great time to encourage reading for pleasure; if you would like age appropriate book suggestions, follow us on Twitter @CarfaxUAE to get our tutors’ top recommendations.
Clare’s Top Summer Reads
These are the books that spoke to me most at different stages in my life and that I never get bored of re-reading :
‘Oh the Places you will go’ by Dr. Seuss (ages 5-7),
‘Just so Stories’ by Rudyard Kipling (ages 8-10),
‘Jonathan Livingstone Seagull’ by Richard Bach (ages 10-13),
‘The Curious Case of the Dog in the Nighttime’ by Mark Haddon(ages 14- young adult).