Children who read often and read a wide variety of books naturally get better at it, as with almost anything that we do, practice makes perfect. Reading is also a complex task and therefore great exercise for our brains. It improves concentration and focus so the more reading we do the better we are at concentrating and focusing on a task. By reading a wide variety of books children learn about the world around them, about people, places and experiences outside of their own experience. Reading often helps children improve both their vocabulary and language skills, they learn new words and as they read they are learning about sentence structure which they can then use in their own writing and speaking.
Reading is also an enjoyable experience and develops our imagination. As we read we are transported to different places through the descriptions in the story. Children can imagine how they might feel, develop empathy with other peoples’ experiences and use that to help manage their own emotions and feelings. You can take a book with you anywhere and there is a never an excuse to be bored if you have a book with you.
Children learn for the behavior they see demonstrated around them so reading together is very important. Reading your own books on the sofa and bedtime stories are precious time spent with your child.
Finally, it has been found that children who read often generally achieve more in subjects across the whole curriculum, not just English. So, choose a book this weekend and encourage your children to love reading too!
Ms Sarah Osborne-James