One way of keeping young students engaged with their learning is to instill in them a love of reading. Just reading to a young child helps them to develop a skill that will last with them their whole lives, boosting their self-confidence, independence and a stronger understanding of the world that surrounds them. Many benefits come with cultivating a love of books in young learners and Cameron Gonzales, a successful children’s author shares her opinion and expertise.
“As an avid reader myself, my love of all things creative began at a young age. My parents were both keen readers themselves, so it isn’t too surprising that I was often found tucked away with a book in my hands! I credit my parents for instilling in me a passion for books and reading that has lasted my entire life,” Cameron says. “It was thanks to my early experiences with books that I eventually became an educator and author myself as I wanted to impart my love of literature to the next generation of learners”.
Reading Expands A Child’s Vocabulary
Perhaps the most important reason for cultivating a love of reading in young children is that it exposes learners to a host of new words for them to sound out and determine their meaning. In turn, this helps them to be able to express their thoughts and feelings more effectively. It also boosts their confidence in not just their reading abilities, but also in their speaking and writing.
Being able to communicate effectively is an essential part of being successful at school, and also in socializing and making friends. Students who can communicate with other people not only achieve more highly but they are also able to advocate well for others and themselves.
Reading Boosts Empathy
When a young learner loves to read, they begin to understand that other people may have different perspectives and viewpoints to them. When they read a range of books, they begin to see a range of opinions and outlooks that helps them to think about the things they would do and how they would react if they were presented with a situation that is similar to one in the story in their own life.
Young readers have more empathy and understanding towards other people as they are exposed to a variety of situations through books. Empathy towards others is a vital part of becoming a global citizen since it challenges them to have a curiosity about others’ feelings and to find ways of showing that they care.
Reading Improves Memory
Comprehension and reading require learners to engage their brain by collecting a range of characters, scenes, and words in the book to build up the picture of a whole story. Writing and reading regularly exercises the brain since such activities demand that students recall prior knowledge and build on it.
When young readers reflect on passages in a book, they start to learn how to focus on the most important message within the text. Once they’ve finished the book, they can reflect and work out why the perspective of the story is important. This is a skill that goes far beyond just language – it supports understanding learning in every other academic subject and every area of life.
Reading Increases Knowledge
Books for all ages of children come in a host of types and covering a range of subjects. The more books a child reads, the more knowledge and information they are taking in about current affairs, history, and the world that surrounds them. Students with a strong foundation in a variety of subjects can be better prepared for their future since they are already well-versed and eager to embrace new tasks.
As well as increasing their general knowledge through their love of books, students begin to also explore and read about topics that interest them. When they read about subjects that engage them, they begin to connect topics and events with their own experience.
Reading Makes Children More Imaginative
With the arrival of the internet and video gaming, children have become less imaginative. They need to use their imaginations far less when playing with their friends and this leads to stagnation in their creativity. Increasingly, young children find it difficult to conjure up imaginary scenarios and to engage in real-world play simply because they don’t need to use their imagination as much in their everyday lives.
Reading is a wonderful way to enhance a child’s imagination. Books help them to step into a brand new world and to put themselves in the protagonist’s place. The more they experience different stories and perspectives, the children can broaden their horizons and think outside their little world. This allows them to improve their creative skills, helping them to become more expressive in different ways, from music and drama to art as well as in writing and their play.
“There are so many reasons to foster a love of books in young children,” Cameron says. “Yet, perhaps the most important reason of all is simply to enable them to be entertained. Books put a wealth of experiences and situations at a child’s fingertips – they can learn to love exploring those new worlds and to embrace the possibilities that lie within.”