Why Reading Rocks

5 ways books can help children:

 “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” – Stephen King

More than just ink on paper, or (now) marks on a glowing screen; books are connections, books are adventure, books are time machines, books are little treasure-chests that you can carry with you. First, in your hands as you read them; and then forever in your heart. As you go about living your everyday life, they pop out now and then, to guide you and advice you. They make you laugh or cry and help you grow in unimaginable ways.

I remember the joy of being lost in a book as a child. As I watch my children do the same, I am excited for them because I know learning to love books, is a special gift that will outlast any other.

Out of a bazillion, here are just 5 ways that books help children.

Books educate. They pose difficult questions and help answer them too. Fiction, fact or even a text book, one of the main ways a book helps is by teaching children about new things. By asking prosaic factual questions like “what is the tallest mountain?”, or a profound one like “what does love mean to you?” The book then gently guides the child to find the answer.

Books allow children to discover. A book is an avenue for a child to enter into new worlds and new or old times. It nudges them to explore and discover different countries and cultures. It helps them learn explore the past, present and the possibilities of the future. Books show children the real world around them. But also, perhaps more importantly, they allow children to experience a realm beyond the confines of reality. They enable children to explore fantastical ideas and thoughts.

Books enable us to connect: Imagine being shrunk into a tiny bot and entering into the mind of another person. Imagine reading their thoughts and emotions; and being able to understand them. Well, books do that! They help us enter into a character’s mind, understand the character’s perspective, and connect in a meaningful and empathetic way. The character can be anything too. It can a person, a genie, an object or even just and idea.

Books shape the moral landscape: Through books, children can experience situations which they may (I sometimes hope) not experience in real life. Situations of conflict and hardship, where difficult choices need to be made. In living these situations through the pages of a book, they decide their paths of right and wrong. Books are a powerful tool for shaping our moral landscape, and of talking about values that matter.

Books encourage aspirations and dreams. There are no limits in a book. Children can dream big and let their ideas run free and wild. They can be mermaids, firemen, doctors, or flying elephants. They can then meet superheroes, real-life ones, who have dreamt big made impossible dreams come true. A book can help a child reach for the big wide sky, it can help your children find their wings and soar.

Why Reading Rocks

10 Reasons: Why is reading important for children.

“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go” – Dr Seuss. Reading is a basic life skill. It not only gives us the ability to function properly but also enriches our lives in a multitude of ways. As we find ourselves in the midst of a strange and unprecedented time, the importance of reading, especially for children, is more pronounced.

  1. Helps cognitive development:

    Reading involves a complex network of circuits and signals in the brain. As children read more, these networks get strengthened which forms the basis of intellectual ability and makes children better problem-solvers. It also instills a lifelong love of learning, setting off an impressive chain reaction: better academic performance, better job prospects and a successful life.

  2. Increases Empathy:

    When children read stories, they develop the ability to understand the beliefs and feelings of others. The more they know about emotions and feelings of the characters they read about, the more empathy they develop.

  3. Positive self-image: 

    They are also able to see reflections of those feelings within themselves, leading to a stronger sense of self. Research has shown that better readers have higher self-confidence.

  4. Improves social skills: 

    Through showcasing interpersonal interactions between characters, books give examples of how different people behave; effectively and ineffectively; in different situations. Coupled with enhanced empathy and an increase in vocabulary, reading is a powerful tool to develop strong social skills.

  5. Improves imagination and creativity:

     When a child reads, they visualize the words on the page and create images in their minds, using their imagination. Their minds are constantly whirring trying to figure out what happens next. This strengthens their ability to be creative, and apply these skills in real life situations

  6. Increases vocabulary:

     As children read, they get exposure to more words and more content. A better vocabulary is linked not only to higher achievement, but more importantly helps children regulate their behavior. They are better able to draw from a larger treasure-chest of words and express themselves more effectively.

  7. Improves communication and writing skills: 

    Reading shows children different ways of using words. They can see how authors have used sentence structures and grammar. This helps them with their own writing, and communication skills.

  8. Improves Memory: 

    To understand a story, a child needs to remember details of the characters, locations and what happened before. Making these connections helps them build a stronger memory.

  9. Aids discovery of different places and times: 

    Through reading, children learn about different parts of the world and about history. Much of this information is beyond their personal experience, and this helps open up and widen their minds. It exposes them to realities different to their own, and is undoubtedly and excellent form of educating about diversity.

  10. Entertains:

     The most important of all, reading is Fun! Books make you laugh, cry, learn, speak, listen and understand. 

As JK Rowling says “I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.”