“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” This famous quote by the 17th century writer Joseph Addison especially holds true for kids. Growing up, young children have extremely impressionable minds. When they get exposed to any form of literature or reading material, it is going to have an incredible effect on the way they think.
Kids who tend to start reading at a young age develop their minds significantly faster compared to those who don’t. Here are some of the biggest benefits that children reap when they start reading at a young age.
Better Language Skills
Reading regularly can boost one’s language skills and ultimately their communication skills. They are able to articulate their thoughts better and voice their thoughts and opinions clearly. This is a huge asset for any parent as the child can easily tell them what they want or how they’re feeling about a certain issue. Better communication between parents and children only means that they’re going to strengthen their bond even more. Once grown up, better language skills help the individual to make themselves understood by others better and integrate into professional life as well as society smoothly.
Once a kid gets habituated to reading, they’re going to be regularly exposed to correct grammar and wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore. Excellent grammar is going to become second nature to them. They will be able to speak/write with good grammar almost automatically without having to focus on it specifically.
Increased Focus, Memory and Concentration
Do you remember the first time that you really got engrossed in a book? Remember the feeling that you had when you finished reading it before you even realised how far along you had come? When you enjoy reading, it really starts enhancing your brain in ways you didn’t think of. One of the biggest problems that parents face in a child is that they lack concentration. Reading is an effective way to imbibe the qualities of focus and concentration on one particular thing for an extended period of time without getting distracted. Also, reading so many words and absorbing so many details, the child gets compelled to remember every detail in order to follow the storyline correctly. This boosts memory capabilities too. In today’s world, where children are so focused on gadgets and video games, reading will serve as a calming effect on the child’s mind.
When a child reads a new book, he/she is going to be reading many new words and finding their meanings as well. They also learn to interpret the meaning of a word based on context in which it is used and understand that one word can have many meaning based on how and where it is used in a sentence. This is going to rapidly increase a child’s vocabulary. Having a big vocabulary in your mind can make you smarter and more expressive thereby giving your children that head-start can give them an advantage over their peers.
“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” Albert Einstein, the author of this quote, was one of the smartest scientists in the history of humanity. He advocated kids to use their imagination more than just accumulating knowledge in school. Books are a wealthy resource of the imaginations of some of the most creative people amongst us. They inherently make the reader imagine better and be more creative in their thoughts. Creativity, ultimately, is going to change the world.
Development of Empathy
Reading a book puts the reader in the author or narrator’s shoes and makes them feel what they felt. This makes the reader a more empathetic person. It makes them understand that everybody is pressurized under certain circumstances and being empathetic teaches you kindness. Empathy and kindness are the two qualities that the world needs most right now. If reading can make children more empathetic growing up, the world is going to be a more peaceful place with many empathetic adults.
Cognizant of the benefits of reading, at Sharanya Narayani International School (SNIS), we place heavy importance on reading. Children are encouraged to read on a daily basis and maintain a log of their reading. The reading log makes the student conscious of their reading habits in addition to developing their skills in paraphrasing what they have read and understood from their reading. It also helps the teacher in gauging the reading comprehension levels of the students. For children in Nursery, parents are motivated to read to their children everyday so that the habit of reading is inculcated in them from a young age.
At SNIS, students are also engaged in reading via the Guided Reading Programme Sessions held by the teachers on a regular basis during class time. The Guided Reading in incorporated into the transdisciplinary curriculum followed at SNIS so that children make better connections between what they read, their prior knowledge and perspectives, how it is relevant to them, and how their perspectives may change because of it.