Whether you realize it or not, reading is an important part of your everyday life. We need to read for information every day. Whether it’s our daily email exchanges or important documents at work, reading is important to be successful in life. Whether it is required or not many educators feel that it is important for children to read for at least 20 minutes every day. There are many fundamental reasons why kids should read everyday, but here are my top five:
Reading is “brain food”
I always tell my students that their brain is a muscle and that thinking is what builds it and makes it stronger. Reading is a great exercise that activates many areas of the brain. While reading, the visual cortex works as your eyes track the words on the page and look at the illustrations. Your memory makes connections by activating prior knowledge about the topic you’re reading. You also add new information learned through reading which further strengthens your network of knowledge. Twenty minutes of reading per day will provide a great amount of “brain food” for your little Einstein to build up their brain muscle.
Practice makes perfect
Like any skill, the way to become a better reader is to practice, practice, practice! Every skill requires practice, especially reading skills. You can’t learn to play a musical instrument or ballroom dance without practicing your skills. The more children practice their reading the more they will improve their reading comprehension skills and vocabulary. If your child has time for soccer practice, piano practice and drama club practice, try to make time for twenty minutes of reading practice too.
Reading improves academic performance
Reading is a major part of teaching every academic subject. Even math and science subjects are heavily taught using reading as a fundamental part of the instruction. Literacy can be taught across content areas, so by studying science based vocabulary; for example, a student can study two different subjects while strengthening their reading abilities. Reading is also immensely important to improve study skills. Reading every day for at least twenty minutes ensures that young students are laying the foundation to have great academic success in their future.
Reading improves listening skills
Huh? I said reading improves listening skills! Most parents would love to improve their kids’ listening skills and reading is an easy solution. Reading for 20 minutes a day helps children develop good listening skills because they are learning to recognize phonemes (the building blocks of language), which in turn makes them a better listener. It also helps kids to have better concentration skills, which in turn helps them to be better listeners.
Reading improves relationships
Let’s face it, parents are busy and kids are just as busy, too. It’s hard to find the quality time we all want to share with our children. A simple solution is to plan to read with your child for twenty minutes each night. It’s an easy way to spend quality time with your child and share something enjoyable like a great book. You can make it even more special by choosing books together either online or on a family trip to the bookstore. Reading can provide quiet, uninterrupted time for you and your child to bond.
Reading is an important activity that will only help your child grow and become a better student and a better reader. Taking just twenty minutes a day to read with your child will help them to become better readers, better students, and ultimately more successful people.
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