Reading and writing are critical skills, and summer is a prime time for parents to emphasize building language arts abilities. Modern technology can serve as a powerful facilitator. According to Scholastic’s annual Kids and Family Reading Report, technology can be helpful in facilitating the modern learner’s exposure to books and reading. The report by Scholastic Inc. in conjunction with Harrison Group, shows that the percentage of children, who have read an ebook, has almost doubled since 2010. And, half of children age 9-17 say they would read more books for fun if they had greater access to ebooks.
Mix print and technology to build reading’s impacts
Francie Alexander, Chief Academic Officer for Scholastic, indicates, “We are seeing that kids today are drawn to both print books and ebooks, yet ereading seems to offer an exciting opportunity to attract and motivate boys and reluctant readers to read more books.” She goes on to say, “While many parents express concern over the amount of time their child spends with technology, nearly half do not have a preference of format for their child’s books. The message is clear – parents want to encourage more reading, no matter the medium.”
Build in reading time
Francie Alexander advises, “While highlighting opportunities, this report remains a call to action to stay focused on increasing reading frequency among our children because the more they read, the better readers they will become and the more they will love it and continue to read.” Reading for fun continues to compete with other activities, so it’s important to build reading time into each day’s daily patterns.
Reading builds positive outcomes
Reading opens opportunities and is an empowering tool for success. Francie Alexander agrees, pointing out that “Literacy is a critical doorway to success in both school and life, particularly as the digital world increases access to information. Our children need to gain the skills learned by reading, such as the ability to analyze, interpret and understand complex texts and to separate fact from opinion.” Strong reading and thinking skills are part of the 21st century Skills for Success Toolbox.
Choice is an empowering tool
An additional, helpful point for parents to note is that the Scholastic Kids and Family Reading Report indicates “nine in ten kids say they are more likely to finish a book they choose themselves.” Build reading into your learner’s daily schedule and while being sure to encourage your child to be an active part of the selection process for reading materials. Deploy the power of choice as an important motivator.
And, for bedtime, the Scholastic Kids and Family Reading Report reveals that “Print books are seen by kids as better for sharing with friends and reading at bedtime.” It’s wise for parents to support both the use of ebooks as well as print books. Mix the mediums to suit individual needs and to facilitate reading frequency and pleasure.
Leverage summer learning
Don’t let your learner’s skills slide over the summer. The Scholastic’s Kids and Family Reading Report indicates eighty-six percent of children say they read a book (or books) over the summer. And, on average, kids say they read 12 books over the summer. So, be sure to set aside daily reading time, at least 20 minutes or more each day, for your learner, not only over the summer, but throughout the entire year.
The full 4th Edition of Kids & Family Reading Report, supported by Scholastic, is available with full appendices for online download. Its data helps guide savvy parents and educators in developing fluent, skilled learners, who also love books, language, and ideas. Reading’s strong foundation can empower a lifetime of learning.
Reading is fundamental. Let the useful data from Scholastic’s Kids and Family Reading Report help in planning your learner’s reading experiences. And, let the insightful quotations about reading, learning, and education in the slideshow accompanying this article inspire and serve as helpful tips in building the foundations of lifelong reading and learning for you and your child.
Inspiration comes from knowing that books, reading, and the experience of ideas are critical. Acclaimed poet and writer Maya Angelou indicates, “I always felt if I can get to a library, I’ll be OK.” Timeless writer C.S. Lewis states, “We read to know that we are not alone.” Education, both at home and at school, is vital, for as Nelson Mandela insightfully framed, “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.” Its power is intimately tied to reading, a pivotal tool of access and engagement to ideas.
Find the take in this article to be helpful? National and Local Education as well as National and International Travel materials come from a husband and wife creative team, who travel extensively as photonaturalists and writers. One is an experienced scientist with a doctorate in Material Sciences and background in pharmaceutical and optics research. The other is former Vice President of GKE (Global Knowledge Exchange), who served as a US Web-based Education Commissioner during the Clinton administration, and was a former US National Tech&Learning Teacher of the Year.
SUBSCRIPTION TIP: To keep current on similar articles, view the suggested links below and click the free, subscribe link at the top of this article.