This post is aimed more at parents and carers, but my students might find the information useful too.
I thought that it would be interesting to look at the benefits of reading regularly.
So first of all, what is reading regularly? In the study I will talk about below, they consider reading regularly as more than once a week. Ten minutes reading before bedtime most nights, is not only a great way to wind down at the end of the day, but it gets us away from those backlit devices which, if used just before bedtime, have been found to affect the quality of our sleep. This might be one way to incorporate regular reading into the day. Every family is different, and a different approach might work better for your family. Maybe reading together with an adult a couple of times a week might be something that your family would enjoy, or perhaps siblings taking it in turns to read with each other might work best for you. There are lots of different ways to include it over a week, and it doesn’t need to take a lot of time. It’s doing it regularly that is the important part.
This summer, I’m encouraging the students in my classes to join a library if they are not already members. The brilliant thing about borrowing books from the library, is that not only is it free, but it is an extra activity to fill those seemingly long six weeks of holidays. This would be a great opportunity to encourage regular reading at home.
So, what are the benefits of reading regularly? A study conducted by The Reading Agency found many benefits for children and young people in reading regularly. As you would probably expect, there are many benefits to their education and their attainment; they found that young people who read regularly ‘gain higher results in maths, vocabulary and spelling tests at age 16 than those who read less regularly.’ They also found that for regular readers ‘there is a difference in reading performance equivalent to just over a year’s schooling between young people who never read for enjoyment and those who read for up to 30 minutes per day.’ Of course, it might be difficult to fit in 30 minutes everyday, but regular reading over less time will still show benefits in students’ progress.
Interestingly, the same study also found benefits to young people’s health and well-being from reading regularly. Regular readers were found to have higher levels of self esteem, and there is a connection between higher levels of literacy in adults, and better health overall.
If you would like to find out more, then please click here.
I hope you have found this information useful, and as always, please contact me if you have any questions.