Written by Academic Support Teacher Irma Mazzotti
Reading is a natural and wonderful way to escape the reality that surrounds us. Being able to get lost in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or in the Land of Oz, falling into Alice’s Adventures down a rabbit hole, or simply going on a Bear Hunt is a thrilling ride for every child’s imagination.
During this extended stay at home, the best thing you could do with your child is to devote time to reading. Even if your child could read on his or her own, reading with a parent has proven to continue to improve comprehension and vocabulary. Vocabulary plays a critical role in a student’s reading achievement and comprehension.
Since the late ’90s research continues to show the benefits of reading 20 minutes a day to a child. Students who read 20 minutes a day at home are more likely to score better than 90% of their peers on standardized testing. And those students who read just 5 minutes a day at home are more likely to score better than 50% of their peers on standardized tests.
Continued studies on daily reading have also shown effects on increased vocabulary, brain function, the theory of the mind, expanding knowledge, reduction in stress, and sharpening of memory and improved focus. Not to mention being able to escape the reality and worries of the world around us when diving into a good book.
The most recent research on daily reading at home brings to light how much the child is actually reading is even more important than how much time it takes them to read it.
What to do if you have a struggling reader or one who “hates” reading? Allow this child to choose their reading materials. Whether it is a magazine or graphic novels, or have them listen to audiobooks while following along, or try reading on a tablet.
Audiobooks benefit all readers of varying levels allowing them to read books above their own reading level, introduce higher leveled vocabulary words, or difficult proper names, and can even model appropriate reading.
So grab a book, head out to the porch, snuggle on the couch, carve out some time and enjoy stepping back in time through the wardrobe with the Lion and the Witch, or rub a magic lamp and take a ride with Aladdin, or be adventurous and Eat Green Eggs and Ham in the rain or on a train.
For more ideas on reading at home check out Reading Rockets: