05 April 2019
You’ve probably encountered Dr. Seuss’ famous lines, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” But you may not have paused to consider the true depth of the wisdom contained in this catchy rhyme. Do you know that reading has been shown to do all of the following:
• Reduce stress levels (by as much as 68%!) • Preserve brain health and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia • Alleviate anxiety and depression • Improve sleep • Increase empathy and emotional intelligence • Boost happiness and overall life satisfaction And regularly reading for only 30 minutes a day has been shown to help us live longer - adding an extra two years to our life expectancy!
However, the bad news is that scrolling through countless Instagram feeds, scanning text messages and umpteen Google search results, is not the kind of reading that improves our physical, emotional and educational wellbeing. Yet for an increasing number of us, the diginauts, this is the type of reading that dominates our busy schedules, and time spent reading for pleasure and deep learning is in rapid decline. And accompanying this shift away from beneficial types of reading is an increasing number of students who struggle to comprehend what they read, making it slow, hard work. So how can we encourage our young people to engage in the sort of reading that improves their lives?
Try these 6 tips to encourage good reading habits in your child and make reading fun:
1. CREATE A READING AREA With your child, make an area for them to read at home. Grab a bean bag chair, fun accessories and a variety of books to create their own cosy and inviting reading nook.
2. SET AN EXAMPLE Act as a role model and read in front of your child. Watching you reading magazines, newspapers, and books shows your child that reading is important. Encourage your child to join you with their own book while you are reading.
3. VISIT THE SCHOOL LIBRARY TOGETHER Walk through our school’s huge book collection and talk to our friendly library staff who are eager to assist matching your child with the right books. Take a virtual tour with your child through the school’s collection of eBooks via the iCentre’s Landscape page.
4. TALK ABOUT WHAT YOUR CHILD IS READING This is the most powerful thing you can do to accelerate your child’s reading and academic development - ask them questions about what they are reading: What are the BIG ideas? What might happen next? What their favourite part was and why? This will enhance your child’s comprehension skills and signal that reading is a valued family activity.
5. SUPPORT YOUR CHILD If your child has difficulty reading and gets frustrated, take a step back and see where they are struggling. Talk with their teacher and address the issue as soon as possible.
6. READ EACH NIGHT Make reading part of your child’s night-time routine. This habit helps your child learn to associate reading with relaxation.
Tips adapted from: https://www.oxfordlearning.com/encourage-good-reading-habits/
Secondary Humanities Hub Leader