My son, buried in a book.
This week Herzlia Constantia Primary School hosted a book festival, which included author readings, workshops and the much-anticipated opening parade, where the children dressed up as their favourite literary characters.
As I waved off my 8-year-old son, dressed as Mr Big Nose (from The 13-Storey Treehouse series) and clutching his readathon sheet (with an impressive 2 000 pages read in a week), I felt a sense of pride that my boy loves books the way I do. Especially in an age where many children are so often glued to their digital screens.
We all know that reading is good for us, but today I decided to find out exactly why.
For starters …
- Reading makes us smart, just ask Dr. Seuss:
The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.
Studies have shown that children who are exposed to reading before preschool are more likely to do well in formal education.
- Reading improves mental health
Not only has reading for pleasure been found to reduce stress and help us sleep better, it can also improve our confidence and self-esteem by giving us the tools we need to make life decisions and pursue our goals.
- Reading strengthens the brain
According to a study at the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, reading can help protect our memories and thinking skills, especially as we get older. The study also suggests that reading every day can slow down cognitive decline in later life, ensuring that our brains stay healthy and higher functioning for longer.
- Reading books prepares us for real life
Following a character’s emotional journey in a book gives us an opportunity to evaluate ourselves. This can be especially useful for children who, while following a story, are exposed to brand-new emotions, behaviours and situations. This kind of exposure helps children discover and develop their own values.
- Reading builds vocabulary
It’s widely known that reading builds our vocabulary. Did you know that a children’s book exposes your child to 50% more words than watching a television show? And reading 15 minutes per day exposes children to a whopping 1,000,000 words a year.
So that’s five good reasons to get your kids reading. Take them to the library, stock up their book collections – you’ll be doing so much more than giving them something fun to do, you’ll be offering them a lifelong gift.
Written by Melissa Fagan, freelance non-fiction editor
I help non-fiction publishers deliver award-winning content using a creative and flawless approach to editing. Internationally qualified non-fiction editor with 11 years’ publishing experience.
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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