The Benefits of Reading
Children’s literacy is always a headlining topic, and reading ability is a bar that many people measure intelligence and creativity against.
Whilst reading capability does give an idea of a person’s academic or imaginative competency and thought processes, there are also some other benefits to reading:
Imparts awareness about sentence structure and the power of punctuation
Helps explain people - their dispositions, motivations, and complexities of character
Gives a ‘voice’ to thoughts, feelings, reasonings, opinions, and ideas
Provides escapism, confirms reality, or ground arguments
Reading does not teach spelling, but does provide the mechanics of logic and sequencing, and the rules of storytelling. A well-written book can be viewed as a piece of artwork – tones, shades, and depths of suggestions that all help to create a rhythmic beat of words in which ideas are planted, and meanings formed.
Fact or fiction, on paper or a screen, reading imparts knowledge; power that children can utilise at any given time, be it through role play or following a recipe.
In our Snapchat, Instagram world, it’s important to retain, and re-train, our brains for longevity in concentration for which study and acquiring new skills are important. Flicking between screens on a computer at work is fine, but the boss will still need your focus on that all-important project from beginning to end.
Admittedly, there is a distinction, or separation rather, between fluency and comprehension. Many students today can read well - meaning fluently with a nice, even pace, but once they’re asked a question about what’s just been read, the mind becomes hazy and they struggle to recount points. Comprehension is not an easy skill to pick up - preserving information takes practise – but it’s a proficiency that’s worth pursuing.
Whilst touch screens, apps, and voice commands have infiltrated our lives, reading is still vitally important in the everyday function of our daily activities. Do we still not have to read a rental agreement (even if online), a warning label on the back of a box of medication, or instructions in assembling a table?
So encourage your children to read. It doesn’t have to be a book - a magazine or comic, even a brochure or pamphlet is a good start. Get them familiar with sounds, words, narrative, innuendo, and bias. From there, knowledge and imagination follows.