The Benefits to Cultivating a Culture of Reading in Children
There is a great benefit to building a reading culture in children, and at Greater Scholars, we believe that it is important for children to develop the habit of reading early on in their development.
A reading culture is a learned practice of seeking information, knowledge, or entertainment through written words. However, it should not be limited to reading textbooks for academic purposes! It should involve the news, novels, or even online articles on topics of interest.
Here are 5 benefits to developing a reading culture in your child:
1. Reading exposes children to new perspectives and ideas
Reading, especially reading beyond the curriculum, exposes the child to lessons/ perspectives that they may not necessarily learn in the classroom or in their immediate environment. It also, exposes the child new ways of thinking, seeing and understanding information. In addition, reading gives the child an opportunity to cultivate interests which may not be accounted for in the standardized curriculum.
2. Reading broadens the imagination
Albert Einstein famously said “Knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, but imagination points to all we might yet discover and create”. Reading develops the imagination and stimulates creativity. It enables the child to visualize different realities and experiences.
In an ideal world, every one would be able to travel constantly and explore all the amazing gifts the world has to offer. But with reading, a child can imagine what it’s like to be a pilot, travel to space, or climb a mountain by simply reading about those stories.
3. Reading helps to develop problem solving skills in children
With the comprehension skills developed from reading, a child can easily identify a problem and come up with a solution, simply by understanding the scenario and making deductions from it.
Take math word problems for instance. A big part of solving them, is being able to understand what the issue is. Understanding what the issue is goes a long way in taking the first step towards the solution. With the comprehension and deduction skills that come from consistent reading, a child can deduce that if there are only two cupcakes to share equally amongst 4 siblings, each sibling should get half a cupcake! Without the adequate comprehension and deduction skills to tackle that scenario, the child may not be able to figure out that to tackle the issue of ‘equal sharing’ the best tool to solve the problem would be mathematical division!
4. Reading improves emotional intelligence and self awareness
Reading can stimulate a variation of emotional responses from the reader. Through reading a book, your child can experience emotions of sadness, fear, happiness, anticipation and so forth. And in being given the opportunity to experience these emotions, they will be able to recognize and communicate them in real world situations.
Furthermore, when readers pay attention to the varying emotions of characters they read about, they tend to evaluate their own values and feelings. This encourages the emotional growth of the child and makes them more self aware.
5. Reading encourages curiosity and independent learning
Another advantage of reading with regards to problem-solving is that it encourages independent learning. Children are by nature, very inquisitive. It’s one of the amazing qualities they have, which unfortunately tends to dwindle as they get older. Reading is a way to keep children curious, and consistently learning. The next time your child asks you why the sky is blue or why butterflies have different patterns, why not hand them a book on the topic!