I get many calls from moms and dads regarding their child’s reading issues all the time. They along with teachers realize that reading is important for a variety of reasons. (Also know that for struggling readers it is not a sign of low intelligence.) Most people, if they are taught correctly, can learn to read easily and quickly.
1) Learning to read in the lower grades will carry over into one’s whole school career. If you lack reading skills or comprehension, you will struggle throughout your entire school years. They can perform poorly in other subjects because they cannot read and understand the material and so tend to “give up”.
2) Good reading skills improve spelling. As students learn to sound out letters and words, spelling will become easier. Reading also helps to expand the vocabulary. Reading new words puts them in your mind for using later and seeing how words are used in different manners gives you a better understanding of the word usage and definitions than the cold facts found in a dictionary.
3) Reading is fundamental to developing a good self-image. Poor readers very often have low opinions of themselves as well as their abilities. Not being able to read at all or read well tends to isolate people and sometimes behavioral problems can surface.
4) Reading fundamental for functioning in today’s society. You have to read well enough to follow the instructions on a medicine bottle, fill out a work application correctly, reading road signs while driving along with reading a map, etc. There are many day-to-day activities that many people take for granted and could become a source of frustration, anger and fear.
5) Reading is a much needed skill for finding a good job. Most well-paying jobs require reading as part of the job description. One has to be able to read and write a memo, email or proposal. Poor reading skills will limit your ability to perform your job.
6) Reading is also a tool we utilize to discover new things. Books, magazines, the internet are all great sources of new information for us to absorb but we have to be able to read. People that can read are able to educate themselves in any area of life they are interested in. We are living in an information age, but reading is the main way to take advantage of it.
7) Reading develops our mind. Our minds are like a muscle and require exercise like our bodies. Being able to read the written word is one way the mind grows in its ability. Teaching young children to read helps them develop their language skills as well as listen. (And who doesn’t wish their kids would listen to them more and better????) Everyone wants to talk but few can listen. Not having listening skills can end up in major misunderstandings that can lead to job loss, marriage breakdown as well as other unfavorable issues. Reading helps all of us (children as well as adults) to focus on what is being expressed by another.
8) If you want to develop your imagination, you should know how to read! When you read, you can be transported to any time or any place. You can be whoever you want to be (I personally want to be a Princess) as the possibilities are endless. Non-readers have no idea what they are missing!
9) Reading can also help us be more creative. When we read to children, we often use funny voices to make the story come alive for them. Kids will come up with different endings for a book or want to make a picture about the book with all helps with the development of the imagination.
10) Finally….reading is IMPORTANT because words – spoken as well as written – are the building blocks of life. You become the words you have heard or read so far in life and believed about yourself. People, families, relationships and nations are built from words. Think about it.