If you want to know why reading is important
Here are some of the reasons why reading is so
Important for children
Why are children told to read?
We always tell children that books and reading are
good for them, but have we ever really thought about why
It’s true? Exactly what older kids get out of reading
novels? What do young children get from reading?
Is reading important?
The purpose of this article is to say that, yes, it is true,
reading is really important, and that there are solid
reasons why this is so. Let’s start with practice
benefits, then move on to the less tangible rewards of a
life filled with reading.
Books help children develop vital language skills
Reading is an important skill that needs to be developed
in children. Not only is it necessary to survive in the world
schools and (later) universities, but in adult life as
GOOD. The ability to learn new topics and find help
information on everything from health issues and
consumer protection to more academic research on
science or the arts depend on the ability to read.
Futurists Used to Predict the Death of Print
but, ironically, the internet has made reading more and more a
part of people’s daily lives. The paperless society is a myth.
The computer’s ability to process and analyze data means
endless variations on reports and other types of
documents can be and are generated. Internet, itself a
huge new source of information and entertainment, is
based on the humble written word. To effectively use the
web and judge the authenticity and value of what is found
here, reading and critical thinking skills are paramount
The more children read, the better they become
while reading. It’s that simple. More the
what they read, the more they will stick to it and
develop the reading skills they will need for full access to
information in their adult life. Reading must be seen
as a pleasant activity – as a source of entertaining tales
and useful and interesting factual information.
The more we read to young children, the more their
interest in reading literacy. Read aloud presentations
children with proper grammar and phrasing. It improves the
development of their spoken language skills, their ability to
express themselves verbally.
Reading, through books, magazines or websites,
exposes children to new vocabulary. Even when they don’t
understand each new word, they absorb something
the context that can deepen their understanding of it
the next time the word is encountered. when parents read
aloud to children, children also hear correctly
pronunciation as they see the words on the page, even though
they cannot yet read the words by themselves.
Reading can open up new worlds and enrich children
As mentioned above, reading opens doors – doors to
factual information on any topic on earth, practical or
theoretical. Given the wealth of available resources such as
Internet, libraries, schools and bookstores, if children can
read well and if they consider reading as a source of information,
then for the rest of their lives they will have access to all
accumulated knowledge of humanity, access to all
great minds and ideas of the past and present. It really is
Through books, children can also learn about people and
places in other parts of the world, improving their
understand and care for all of humanity. In this
turn, contributes to our feeling that we really live in a
“global village” and can help us create a more
peaceful future for all. It can go through
documentary but, perhaps more importantly, the reading
novels set in other places and time periods may give
children a better understanding of others through
identification with individual characters and their difficulties.
Through stories and novels, children can try vicariously
new experiences and testing new ideas, without any negatives
consequences in their real life. They can meet characters
to whom they would like to return for comfort and satisfaction
visits when they re-read a cherished book or discover a
following. Books also give children the opportunity to stretch their
critical thinking in areas such as problem solving,
concepts of cause and effect, conflict resolution, and
acceptance of responsibility for his actions. Mysteries
allow children to follow clues leading to their logical conclusions
and try to guess the author. Even for very young
children, a simple story with a repetitive chorus or a simple
mystery to solve gives a boost of confidence. Children can
predict patterns and successfully solve puzzles.
Children are influenced and imitate the world around them
them. While a regular diet of violent cartoons can have a
adverse effect on the development of children, carefully
the stories and books chosen can have a positive influence on
children, making them aware of the needs of others. For
example, books can encourage children to be more
cooperative, sharing with others, being kind to animals or
respect the natural environment.
Reading can improve children’s social skills
Although reading is considered the quintessence
solitary activity, in certain circumstances reading can be a
socialization activity. For example, a parent or grandparent
read a story aloud, whether it’s from a traditional print
book or from an ebook, can be a great opportunity for adults
and child to share quiet and relaxed quality time together
away from the hustle and bustle of everyday business
life. They share a few minutes of precious time, plus they
share the ideas contained in the story. Besides,
older children can be encouraged to read aloud to younger children
as a way to improve their relationship.
At school or at story time in the library, books can bring
children together and can be part of a positive sharing
experience. For some preschoolers, this may be their
primary opportunity to socialize and learn to behave
around other children or how to sit quietly for a group activity.
Make the most of this experience by encouraging children to
talk about what they have read or heard.
Reading can improve hand-eye coordination
It may sound funny, but e-books can be a way for kids
improve their fine motor and hand-eye skills
coordination, when they click on a child-friendly website or
click on the back and forward buttons of the online story
pages. They can also recover a valuable computer
skills they will need in school and later in life.
Reading can provide children with many good and clean things
I saved the most important point for last. Reading can
provide children with endless hours of fun and
entertainment. All the above pragmatic reasons are not to
all necessary to justify the place of reading in children’s lives.
Stories can free the imagination and open up exciting new vistas
imaginary or real worlds. They allow children to dream and
can give them a good start on the road to reading visualization
as a source of lifelong pleasure; so read to your young
children every day.
Encourage your older children to read. Give them access to
lots of reading material that they will enjoy and discuss
with them. Taste everything – traditional printed books and
Internet ebooks, classic children’s novels and fairy tales,
as well as more modern stories.
If a child wants to hear the same story over and over
again, don’t worry. The children are comforted by the
the familiarity and predictability of a beloved story they know
by heart. There is nothing wrong with that. Re-read old favorites and,
at the same time, introduce your children to new stories.
Your child’s mind and heart have room for both.
So reading really matters after all
There are so many ways that reading continues to
be both a vital skill for children to master and an important part of
source of knowledge and pleasure that can last a lifetime.
Cultivate it in your children. Make the most of all
resources available and waiting for you: printed
books, online books, magazines, etc. Encourage
follow-up activities involving creative writing skills and
arts too, so your kids can think or
develop what they have absorbed and, at the same time,
develop their own creativity. As you help your children enjoy
the magic of reading, you will discover that there is a whole
wonderful world full of children’s literature out there that YOU
can benefit too.
Barbara Freedman-De Vito ©2004