“A child who reads becomes an adult who thinks” – unknown
Importance of reading for pleasure
Children are surrounded by a plethora of organised activities these days. After school sports, weekend creative events and summer workshops are an integral part of childhood in today’s world. We teach our children how to be a part of a team, how to be creative without being a conformist and develop an interest in activities outside of academics. Amongst all this, reading for pleasure has retained its charm and importance in our lives.
For an adult, reading a story can be de-stressing, some ‘me-time’. But, if you were not taught how to read as a child, you would have missed the joy of it as an adult. Reading is the best way to relax and even six minutes can be enough to reduce the stress levels by more than two thirds, according to research done at the University of Sussex.
It is important for a child’s all-round personality development to read. When a child is handed a book to read, it teaches them how to entertain themselves without the need for external involvement. Reading can transport the imagination to a world outside of the daily routine. When we read, we learn about different cultures, different personalities and different situations. Reading stories is a subtle way of introducing new things in your child’s life. A study done by the University of Buffalo has concluded that access to possible realities and fictional story lines opens you up to new emotions and feelings. It also helps you to empathize with people, by understanding different cultures.
Importance of reading a variety of topics
How many times have you thought back to an incident in your childhood that is affecting your action today? Children’s minds are like a sponge. They absorb everything around them and it shapes their personality as an adult. In the same way, reading a variety of things can provide more armchair education than course books. Stories trigger the imagination, poems makes a language creative, comics tie together images and text and educational articles dive deep into a particular subject.
An education professor, Anne E. Cunningham wrote a research paper and discovered that reading frequently does actually make you smarter. Not only does it help you retain knowledge, but it helps you to remember that knowledge later on in life. Whether or not you realise it, reading stockpiles your brain with new information, and you never know when it may come in handy.
Why should we use technology for reading?
Let’s face it; technology is an essential part of the present. Before telephones, one had the patience to wait for a letter. Without TV, we had to wait for the newspaper to deliver the news. Every generation views the latest technology as a distraction, but when technology is used correctly, it can provide an all-round experience. For children too, the internet provides a lot of entertainment and education. You are not restricted by location or time and have access to content from all over the world. How can you familiarise your children about various aspects of India, if not by the use of computers?
Working on the computer or mobile device is a great way for children to build skills. They can read at their own rate and working on the computer independently gives them a sense of achievement.
Why read different languages?
Anyone who knows more than one language knows what a feat they have achieved. Knowing a language well, allows us to express our every emotion clearly. Poor knowledge of any language makes us come across as rude and insensitive. Every language has its culture, a certain personality. It is important to know the subtle nuances of each language, how to say the additional words that make you interact in an effective manner.
A 2004 study by the psychologists Ellen Bialystok and Michelle Martin-Rhee found that those who could speak two or more languages had higher levels of cognitive brain function, and were more adept at solving problems, planning, and other “mentally demanding tasks.” The fact that bilingual people are often forced to shift between languages is like an overall workout for the brain; making them quicker, better at multi-tasking, and, yes, smarter.
Why does one need audio?
Children usually read on one level and listen on a higher level. It’s usually not until age 12 that the reading level catches up to the listening level. This means that 5 year olds can hear and understand 7 to 8 year old’s books that they can’t read yet.
What if your child wants a bed time story? What if your child wants to improve her / his language skills? So much is learnt by listening, the correct way to speak, new words and even a new language. Listening comprehension comes before reading comprehension. You must hear a word before you can say it or read and write it.