The desire to read doesn’t just appear out of nowhere. People who are avid readers or “bookworms” are shaped by their surroundings. Once a child can read well and is interested in learning new things, it is amazing how much he or she can learn on their own. A lot of teachers work very hard to help kids learn to read. But very few adults are able to get kids to choose reading on their own. Learning to read and becoming a reader are two very different things.
When we can’t get kids to read on their own, we often blame the fact that they spend so much time in front of computers, which are full of distractions. Even though students don’t spend as much time reading as they used to because they spend more time in front of screens, they still need to be encouraged to read so they don’t lose the skills they need to process, evaluate, and analyze information.
Reading fantasy is also good for you in many ways. In a chaotic world, “a flight of fancy” can help the mind rise to new heights and help many people cope. Reading also helps kids find their own voice. By learning new words and meeting different people, kids get to experience a world that is very different from their own, which gives them much-needed exposure. Just like walking is a great way to work out your body, reading is a great way to work out and improve your mind. It teaches the mind to focus and stay focused, remember things, form views, and say what it thinks.
When a child is young and an adult reads to them, they often pick up the same reading habits. Those who haven’t had that experience can be encouraged to read and react to texts by giving them rewards and praise, sending older students to read to younger classes, or, in the spirit of healthy competition, having students quiz each other on the books they’ve read.
The mind grows and changes in interesting ways when you read.
Schools can have reading festivals where parents and people from the wider community, like school alumni, are asked to read to students, talk on panels, or give reviews of books. Some schools make it easier for people to read by bringing students and teachers from other schools to a poetry reading or reading of a book. This becomes a community-wide celebration of reading and an honor for children who choose to spend time and effort on building reading habits.
The love of reading is taught in a slow but steady way. A short attempt is not enough to make schools into places where people like to read. There are schools where reading is part of the everyday life. During break, students who want to curl up on bean bags with a book are given quiet rooms. Book exchange programs make sure that students can read used books that their friends have already read. “Reading days” are a lot like “sports days” in that they have competitive events and celebrate success.
Some schools run book clubs after school with the help of a neighborhood group, a university, or the school’s parent body. This develops a culture of reading, which isn’t just a skill in and of itself, but also helps people understand, accept, and develop new points of view, as well as question their own conclusions. When people read together, they get a lot out of it.
Children also like having a say in how decisions are made. Having an adult choose the book for a child is one of the worst things that can happen. Instead of policing what kids read and how many pages they read, adults can give kids access to books and show interest in what they choose.
With summer break coming up, schools can also take advantage of students’ interest in digital activities that involve interaction and add reading to their computer time. Digital reading programs give readers help with how to say words, pictures to spark their imaginations, games to keep them interested, and comprehension questions to get them to think critically and creatively. Digital reading can be a great way to keep track of how much time each child has spent reading and how much growth they have made.
So that no child falls through the cracks, digital reading programs make it easy to test and compare children. Many of these programs keep track of how much someone reads by giving them reward badges or certificates of success, which encourages them to keep going. Students learn to read and understand faster than ever with the help of technology.
Reading habits are more important than ever in our busy, fast-changing world, where reading is not only a great way to relax, but also has the potential to lead to new ideas, discoveries, and inspiration.