March is National Reading Month! (As if I needed an official reason to celebrate reading!) In honor of this special month, I’m writing several blog posts that are centered around reading. Tuesday I wrote about what I’m currently reading. Be sure to visit that post and tell me what you’re reading these days!
Today I’m talking about a topic that is near and dear to my heart – encouraging kids to read. I am deeply passionate about the importance of childhood literacy. It is one leading reason I wanted to enter the field of library science. (Don’t know about that part of my background? Read about it here.)
There are many, many reasons that reading is important for developing minds. To keep it short (sort of … ), I’ve listed 15 for you below. Check it out! I hope if you weren’t already convinced that you should be encouraging your kids to read that you will be by the end!
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15 Benefits of Reading for Kids
It stimulates their brain.
I wrote about this in 5 Compelling Reasons to Read Every Day. Because it uses so many different parts of the brain at once, reading is the ultimate brain workout!
It improves their analytical thinking skills.
Reading helps hone the part of the brain that contributes to analytical thinking. It also helps kids grasp abstract concepts, apply logic to various situations, and recognize cause and effect, among many other skills.
It makes them better writers.
One of the best ways for kids to learn is through modeling. When they read, they are seeing examples of correct grammar, usage, and sentence structure. This knowledge will present itself in later years with very little effort on their part. Their writing will just naturally have a precision, organization, and flow that other kids who don’t read will likely struggle to achieve.
It expands their vocabulary.
The reasons behind this one should be obvious. Reading regularly exposes them to new words, and the more they see these new words, the quicker and more fluidly they will become part of their vocabulary.
It improves their focus and concentration.
Reading requires a lot of focus and concentration, and the more they practice this, the better they will become at sustaining both.
It enlarges their world and horizons.
When kids read, they see that the world is a much bigger place than just their own community!
It exposes them to new people, places, and things.
Through their reading, kids are able to visit places they will likely never visit, meet people they will never meet, and see things they will never see in real life.
It increases their knowledge base.
Reading provides kids with a host of regular new information, which becomes new knowledge.
It improves their reading fluency and comprehension.
As with any skill, the only way to get better is to practice! The more kids practice reading, the more proficient they will become.
It helps build confidence and self-esteem.
Children who read often feel more confident and self-assured in school and while functioning in everyday life.
It helps them make sense of the world around them.
The reasons for this go back to #6 and #8. Reading teaches kids about the world around them, helping them function more skillfully in social settings, in new environments, and in life in general.
It enhances their imagination.
Reading naturally lends itself to visualization. When you read, you automatically create images in your mind of what you’re reading. This visualization develops kids’ creativity and imagination.
It is an opportunity for family bonding.
Reading offers an activity that siblings can do together, parents can do with their children, or the entire family can do together as a whole. Reading together is a wonderful way to bond with your kids and for kids to bond with each other.
Related Post: The Best Gifts for the Whole Family
It promotes a desire for lifelong learning.
Developing the desire and ability to read at a young age will provide kids with years and years of opportunities to continue learning, well beyond the walls of a school building. One of the wonderful things about reading is that you can do it at any age, in any setting, and in every phase of your life. If you instill a love of reading in your kids now, I can almost guarantee you they will never stop desiring to learn.
It contributes to overall academic success.
Numerous studies have shown a link between early readers and future academic success. Much of this has to do with the amount of reading that is required in formal academics, but it also goes back to reasons #1 and #2 … and almost every other reason listed above!
There you have it – 15 compelling reasons to encourage your kids to read. Are you convinced now? I hope so! Now grab your kids, visit your local library, and READ!
P.S. Reading isn’t just beneficial for little brains – it’s good for adult minds as well! If you haven’t read my post about why you should be reading every day, go read it now!
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