When was the last time you read something for the pure enjoyment? Sure, your child has been keeping up with his/her reading for school assignments and you (as a parent and employee) have been reading emails, projects, and work related documents, but when was the last time you really chose something to read purely for the pleasure of it? Let’s examine closer why reading for fun is so important for both parents and children alike.
Did you know that there is strong evidence linking reading for pleasure and educational outcomes? The more you practice a skill, like reading, comprehending and synthesizing information, the better you become! Even students who enjoy reading comics, or graphic novels increase vocabulary, causal relationships and character development. The rule seems to be that “Any reading, is good reading,” according to research completed by the Peter Sowerby Foundation.
There is evidence that shows a correlation between reading for pleasure regularly and lower levels of stress and depression. Reading, especially that which is chosen by the reader for pleasure seems to increase well-being and happiness. Who doesn’t love curling up with a great book, magazine or website and finding out more about their favorite topic?
Reading can also have immense social benefits for students. Reading, especially that which has characters who we can relate closely to, can help us develop our own identity. The middle school and high school years are critical for this type of development. Reading about characters who experience life differently than us can also lead to a better understanding of the people around us. Reading can also improve empathy and gives us an insight into the world view of others.
What do you like to read for pleasure? Ask your student what they like to read for fun and encourage that self-motivated reading at home. Any questions, or looking for suggestion of interesting books, ask your child’s teacher at NSCS.