In picking your battles with the kids, reading is one that you shouldn’t lose says at least one major study out of Britain last month. While you may buy into the convenient argument that it doesn’t matter WHAT your child reads as long as he reads, it’s time to rethink that.
At least one important study out of Britain last month shows that “deep” reading, aka “spiritual” reading is more beneficial than the short snippet or superficial reading kids can find online. According to the study out from the National Literacy Trust, thanks to technology, “deep reading” is now an endangered practice and one that parents should take steps to preserve. The study’s researchers say the disappearance of deep reading found in novels, poems and other kinds of literature can actually endanger the intellectual and emotional development of children growing up online.
The study’s authors write:
“For the first time children are reading more on computers and other electronic devices than they are reading books, magazines, newspapers and comics. This is potentially detrimental to children’s reading levels as those who read daily only on-screen are much less likely to be good readers than those who read in print.”
Here are some of The National Literacy Trust’s results from the study of 34,910 young people aged 8 to 16:
• 39% of children and teens read daily using electronic devices, but only 28% read printed materials every day.
• Those who read only onscreen were three times less likely to say they enjoy reading very much and a third less likely to have a favorite book.
• Young people who read daily only onscreen were nearly two times less likely to be above-average readers than those who read daily in print or both in print and onscreen.
Build a Child Who Loves to Read
• Model reading to your kids! Talk about what you’re reading with them, ask them about the stories they are reading.
• Have books readily available
• Choose books that interest your child
• Read to your kids
• Use strategies to kindle their interest: Put incentives in place, get involved in library programs, create book clubs with kids