How many toddlers enjoy reading books? The vast majority. Why then, is it noticeable that reading ability in the teenage population is declining?
Perhaps you are wondering why it matters that older children read. It is often assumed that reading is a ‘good thing’ but why is this? Young people who read widely are improving their vocabulary and general knowledge. This in turn improves their confidence and consequently their willingness and ability to input to conversations, discussions and debates.
It has been shown that children who read more widely achieve better GCSE grades in all subjects, not just English. Experience within school supports this. It would be easy to assume that, to achieve this academic success, the reading material should consist of weighty academic tomes. This is not the case. Reading anything at all improves literacy skills, confidence levels and general knowledge.
So, how can parents encourage their children to discover the pleasure of reading? There are subtle approaches: turn on the subtitles on a favourite programme, ask your child to read out the shopping list whilst on a trip to the supermarket, play a board game or make a model from a kit involving written instructions. Just because your child is older, that doesn’t mean you have to stop reading together. There are many books that you could both read, and discuss along the way.