We live in a world full of smartphones, tablets, computers, smartwatches, television, and video games. For many boomers, this all seems quite absurd, but for today’s children, it’s just a part of everyday life.
There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but it does come with its own problems.
Many younger people may not remember what it is like to crack a book instead of cracking heads on the latest PlayStation game, but nonetheless, this doesn’t make books and reading, in general, any less important.
Reading and basic literacy is just as important now as it was years ago. That said, why exactly is this the case – why is reading important?
There are many different reasons why reading is important, especially for children. First, we want to talk about the importance of reading for children in particular, then about its general importance.
- Why is Reading Important for Children?
- The Main Components of Literacy
- Why is Reading Important in General?
Why is Reading Important for Children?
Reading is very important for children because it helps them grow mentally, emotionally, and psychologically. It opens the world to them and broadens their horizons. That said, reading brings the same benefits to everybody, young and old.
The Main Components of Literacy
These points apply to children who are just learning how to read. Of course, in these beginning stages, your children won’t be able to read on their own just, but you will be there to help them along.
As noted in the Children Learning Reading program, the following aspects are all important building blocks of basic literacy, all things your child can learn simply by reading with you.
Learning the Alphabet
When you first start reading with your child, one of the greatest benefits they get is learning the alphabet, which is one of the first things that any person needs to learn to master basic literacy.
Of course, your children will not know the whole alphabet yet, but as you read with them or to them, you can occasionally ask your children if they recognize this or that letter, and if they don’t repeat the letter name to them a few times.
It’s a really simple way to teach your kids the alphabet as you read an entertaining story. Remember that learning for children is best when they’re having fun doing it.
Reading with your child can help them learn phonics, which is the association between letters and the sounds that they make.
This starts out with single letters, but also involves the sounds which letter combinations make. This helps teach kids how to read, and it also helps teach the proper pronunciation of words.
When you read with your children, have them sound out a lot of words you are reading.
Being able to pronounce words properly, even short one-syllable words, is a basic cornerstone of reading, something that an education program such as Children Learning Reading instills right from the beginning.
The next thing that your children will learn from reading is phonemic awareness, which is the ability to hear and manipulate sounds in words.
This is what nursery rhymes are so good for, as they are usually repetitive, they generally focus on a few specific words and sounds, and they tend to hammer this home.
For instance, the word “cat” consists of three specific sounds, C/A/T, and being able to recognize these individual sounds, and then to manipulate and combine them into one long sound – the pronunciation of the whole word – is something that helps kids grow their reading skills.
Reading helps teach kids how to recognize which letters and letter combinations make specific sounds, and it can help teach them about rhyming.
This one is very important for kids, but it’s also crucial for adults. Simply put, the more your children read, or the more you read to them, the more words they will learn.
Reading helps build up a word bank, so to speak. It is, of course, important for your kids to have a basic vocabulary, and it all starts out with the small stuff, the basic 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-letter words.
The more words your children know, the easier it will be for them to communicate effectively, and the better they will be able to read subsequent texts. To help build a good vocabulary for your children, the Children Learning Reading educational program can be a big help.
Of course, as an adult, you probably won’t be taking any children’s reading courses, but it is still important for adults to have a good vocabulary, and to keep building it bigger and better.
If you keep reading new texts, more difficult texts, and especially texts about topics you may not be familiar with, the more words you will learn, and this leads to a better understanding of the world in general, and of course an increased ability to communicate effectively.
Reading is especially important for children because it helps build their reading comprehension abilities.
Being able to read words is great, and it’s the first step no doubt, but that said, being able to read words doesn’t mean much if you cannot recognize the meaning of those words, and in the grander scheme of things, the meaning of the combinations of words, and the meaning of whole sentences.
The more your children read, the better they will be able to comprehend what they are reading.
Another reason it is so important for children to read is because practice makes perfect. Reading fluency refers to the ability to read quickly and accurately without stumbling over words. All of the previous points made here lead to reading fluency.
Why is Reading Important in General?
Reading is important in general, and not just for kids. So, what can reading do for both you and your children?
Increased Communication and Social Skills
When you have reading fluency, a good vocabulary, and a good understand of what many words mean, it will allow you to communicate more effectively.
Simply put, if you have a poor vocabulary, when you try to communicate with somebody, you may not be able to find the right words to do so, and thus, the meaning of the point you are trying to make may very well be lost.
The more you read and the more you learn from reading, the better able you will be to communicate effectively. In turn, this can also lead to better social skills.
If nothing else, reading is a great way to learn. Did you know that up until about 20 years ago, give or take, people learned exclusively from books? That’s right, before Google, books were how people learned.
The more you read, particularly about topics you are unfamiliar with, the more you will learn about the world. You know what they say, knowledge is power. Knowing more helps you build confidence, it helps you get the job you want, and it helps you impress others.
As touched on above, reading also helps build confidence. The more you read, the more literate you become, and moreover, the more you read, the more you learn.
In other words, reading a lot helps build your overall literacy and your knowledge of the world around you, and this in turn can be a huge confidence booster. If you feel smart enough to talk about any given topic, it makes you feel good about yourself.
Focus, Memory, and Overall Cognition
Reading is also shown to help keep the brain fit. The more you read, the more you exercise your brain, and just like with using your muscles, the more you work your brain, the sharper and faster it becomes.
This leads to an overall improvement in cognitive abilities, whether focus, memory, problem solving, critical thinking, or anything in between. Quite literally, reading makes you a smarter and faster person.
Our list of why reading is important is not exhaustive, but the points we have made are the most crucial ones to keep in mind. In general, reading makes everybody more knowledgeable, more informed and more self-confident!