Huili opened with two beautiful libraries which hold over 20,000 new books. However, we believe it is not enough to have great resources, all our children must grow up to be great readers and develop a love of reading. Children who love to read generally grow up to be lifelong readers, independent learners and seekers of information.
A child who loves to read can be transported to any time or place through their choice of book. By reading widely, children are exposed to people, places, time periods, language and vocabulary that are invaluable aids for extending their imagination and understanding.
Why is it so important to be a good reader?
Numerous studies have found that children with higher levels of reading fluency and comprehension enjoy greater academic, personal and professional success later in life. Children who read well at a young age are more likely to perform better on standardised tests (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, Twist et al, 2007), attain higher degrees and be more empathetic as teens and adults. Children who read fiction daily often have the highest levels of reading fluency and attainment.
Furthermore, being a good reader is directly correlated to the amount of time children spend reading. As you might expect, children who read well report greater levels of satisfaction from reading.
Why is important to love reading?
Children who love reading are encouraged to spend more time reading. This generally leads to them securing a range of educational and emotional benefits. Researchers have found that children who read for pleasure are more successful readers and writers, have an increased vocabulary, greater general knowledge, a better understanding of others, are more active in their communities and have a greater insight into human nature and decision making (Clark and Rumbold, 2006).
How can I encourage my child to develop a love of reading?
There are many ways to encourage your child to read. Primarily, be an example; to show that you like to read every day. Children in families where books are valued, shared and read daily are likely to read more in their teen and adult years (Baker and Scher, 2002). There is no need for external motivation (prizes, awards, etc) either, the most successful incentive for encouraging children to read is to allow the children to choose their own reading material (Clark and Phythian-Sence, 2008).
Don’t worry if your child isn’t interested in reading the classics; it is preferable to encourage them to read a variety of materials such as magazines, newspapers, graphic novels, fiction and non-fiction books. Children are more likely to read more if they have access to genres that naturally excite and engage them. Consider subscribing to magazines that cover topics that your child is interested in – crafts, sports, science, hobbies, whatever speaks to them.
It is also important to talk to your child about what they are reading. Ask them questions about the characters, what they find interesting about the story, what they think might happen next.
If your child is interested in reading books that are perhaps too difficult or ambitious for their current reading level, consider reading the book together or listening to the audio book version. Audio books are a great resource for children to enjoy stories while improving their comprehension, vocabulary and fluency, especially for a child’s non-native language. You can even download audio books for long trips and listening before bedtime.
Make sure that you have many books and other reading materials easily accessible in your home. In 2010 a meta study of 108 research papers conducted in the US and UK found that children with print materials in the home were more likely to read more often and for longer periods of time (Lindsay, 2010). The same study found, predictably, that children with no or fewer than 10 books in the home were less likely to report that they enjoyed reading and the children were less likely to be reading at the level expected for their age.
Finally, you should also encourage your child to read a little every night before bed. Studies show the importance of limiting screens before sleep, so use this time as an opportunity to put down digital devices and dive into a great book.
Don’t forget to utilise and enjoy the Huili Library
The library’s resources are at the disposal of every Huili pupil and parent. Please remind your children to return their library materials and encourage them to check out new materials every week. If your child has finished all their library books, they can feel free to return them early and check out new books during breaktime.
Please stop by the library for book recommendations for your child or to check out books. Parents are welcome to visit the library daily from 3:30pm to 4:30pm. Please let us know in advance if you would like to check out books so we can create a library account for you. Parents may check out up to three books for a period of two weeks.
Baker, L. and Scher, D. (2002). Beginning readers’ motivation for reading in relation to parental beliefs and home reading experiences. Reading Psychology, 23, 239-269.
Clark, C. and Phythian-Sence, C. (2008) Interesting Choice: The (relative) importance of choice and interest in reader engagement: London: The National Literacy Trust
Clark, C., and Rumbold, K. (2006). Reading for Pleasure a research overview. The National Literacy Trust
Lindsay, J. (2010). Children’s Access to Print Material and Education-Related Outcomes:Findings From a Meta-Analytic Review. Napervile, IL: Learning Point Associates.
PIRLS (2006) Ina V.S. Mullis, Michael O. Martin, Ann M. Kennedy, and Pierre Foy (2007), http://timss.bc.edu/PDF/P06_IR_Ch4.pdf page 146
Twist, L., Schagan, I. and Hogson, C. (2007). Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS): Reader and Reading National Report for England 2006. NFER and DCSF.