Awesome Benefits for Kids of Participating in National Family Reading Month

May is Scholastic’s National Family Reading Month. This initiative was created to encourage families to read together on a regular basis. While most parents recognise the value of reading with their kids, with today’s busy schedules it can be hard to find the time. 

Just 10 minutes of reading each day exposes children to over 600,000 words per year. Why not make the commitment this May to putting aside at least 10 minutes each day to read with your child? 

You can sign up online and each participant will get a certificate and book voucher on completion of the challenge. 

Research has found that kids are far more likely to enjoy and finish reading a book when they choose it themselves. Make sure you give your child plenty of opportunities to select books for the challenge. 

Here are some of the benefits of reading together as a family.

  • Vocabulary 

The only way for children to broaden their vocabulary is by being exposed to a wide range of words. Reading together with your child is very helpful because it gives them an opportunity to ask you about any words they’re not sure of. You can help your child learn to decode unfamiliar words by talking about the context and by using the dictionary.  

  • Spelling

Spelling skills are based on sight recognition of words. As with vocabulary, the more words students are exposed to, the better their spelling skills will become. To further enhance your child’s spelling skills, you can create a spelling list of unfamiliar words your child encounters while reading with you. Remember to keep it light and fun though. Reading together as a family shouldn’t feel like schoolwork. 

  • Fluency

Reading aloud is a wonderful way of enhancing fluency. When your child reads regularly with family members, they become much better at pronouncing words. Hearing others read allows students to master unfamiliar words, learn correct pronunciation and understand the reason for punctuation marks. The more fluent they are, the more likely they are to continue reading on their own. 

  • Comprehension 

It’s one thing to be able to pronounce and recognise words, but children also need to understand complex ideas and themes. Reading together assists kids to develop excellent comprehension skills because they must focus on each word instead of skimming the text. This slows down reading, giving them more time to decode what sentences mean. Family reading time also allows you to ask your child questions and draw their attention to important information.  

  • Knowledge 

Reading opens up whole new worlds to children. It expands their horizons and gives them new places, ideas, and people to think about. They learn to see things from other perspectives and appreciate differences. This greatly enhances general knowledge and social awareness. Encourage your child to read both fiction and non-fiction to really reap the benefits. 

  • Enjoyment 

One of the most effective ways to improve your child’s literacy skills is by helping them develop a love of reading. When children associate reading with leisure time and enjoyment, they are on the road to becoming life-long readers. The act of choosing their own books and reading for pleasure is directly correlated with academic and career success. 

  • Confidence 

Participants aged from 6 -17 in the Australian Kids and Family Reading Report agreed that finishing a book instils them with a sense of pride and accomplishment. Reading together helps your child to finish more books, which in turn will encourage them to read even more. 

Family reading time is a great bonding experience with many wonderful benefits for kids.

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