Today, April 23rd, is Book Day, a very important cultural date that we at Eurocolegio Casvi International Private School have been celebrating throughout the week. The importance of reading in children is a reality. In Infant School, they have done it with a series of activities under the name “Shall I tell you a story?” Activities that have led them to do theater, crafts, even yoga, among many other things.
The objective was to make the children aware not only of the importance of reading, but also of the value of other equally fundamental moments: the selection of the book, the place or space where the book will be read…. The aim was also to offer them the necessary tools to make them realize that they can create their own stories. This is what we have done in Casvi:
A whole fun process of learning to read and write that has been carried out both in English and in our students’ mother tongue.
Benefits of reading
- The importance of reading in children lies in its benefits when it comes to studying and acquiring knowledge. At the school level, the rate of success or failure in studies is closely related to the student’s ability to read at an adequate speed understanding what he or she is reading.
- Reading is also a vehicle for communication with others. Not only with their environment, but also with themselves.
- On the other hand, it helps to improve their attention span and their critical thinking. This ability to concentrate and focus on a single activity is very useful for multitasking.
- Another fact that underlines the importance of reading in children is that it improves memory, a quality that will be very practical to acquire new knowledge more easily.
- At a linguistic level, reading helps to increase their vocabulary, and thus their spelling as well as their oral and written expression.
- Thanks to the schematic structure of the stories, the child’s mind develops in an organized way.
- Finally, we would highlight, among the benefits of reading, the ability to empathize, to understand others in a simpler way by putting oneself in the place of the characters in the story.
Reading is a habit that is acquired in childhood
And not only that. It is a pleasure that is difficult to acquire in adulthood. Hence the importance of reading in children and to encourage it from the first years of life. To do so, the following aspects must be taken into account:
- The child must understand what he/she reads. Therefore, the beginner reader needs a text tailored to his or her abilities, adapted to his or her sensitivity and progression.
- The child should be allowed to choose what to read. If he does not finish a story, it may not be because of laziness or inconstancy, but simply because he has made the wrong choice.
- To accompany a beginning reader, it is necessary to know their taste. Animals, witches, prehistory… If a child is fascinated by a particular topic, he will voluntarily decide to stop and understand the text with the help of the images.
- Reading should not be linked to schoolwork, but to leisure and it should be seen as something fun and interesting, not as an obligation.
- It is not good to pigeonhole them in a literary genre, but to offer variety so that the child can choose the one he/she likes the most (comics, narrative, science, autobiographies, poetry…).
- It is essential to establish moments of shared reading in a conducive environment.
- It is advisable to encourage the child to pay attention during the reading of the story by asking questions, inventing endings, reflecting on what the story teaches us.
- Finally, it can be very useful to complement the reading with an activity: drawing a picture, representing the story with puppets or dolls or making the characters of the story with plasticine.