By Lize-Mari Labuschagne
Do you read every day? Do your children read every day? And we’re not talking about the thousands of posts on Facebook. Can you remember the last time you picked up a book and read it from cover to cover?
According to Susan du Plessis, Director of Educational Programmes at Edublox Reading and Learning Clinic, a child who is struggling to read can face serious consequences. It’s inevitable: A weak reader is a struggling learner. But reading isn’t just important for a child’s development and growth. Reading doesn’t only teach you language skills or reduce stress. It also teaches you how to listen and is a cheap and healthy way to entertain the whole family.
We tend to pick up a cell phone or tablet rather than a book, but reading has never-ending benefits for you and your family, and if you do not read regularly, you might miss out on these benefits:
Knowledge: Reading makes you smarter
Everything you read fills your head with new bits of information. The more knowledge you have, the better equipped you are to tackle any challenge you’ll ever face.
Research, which appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that elderly people who read regularly or play mentally challenging games are 2½ times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Just like any other muscle in your body, your brain also needs exercise to stay strong and healthy.
Improved focus and concentration and reduced stress
In our internet crazy world, attention is divided between a million different things at the same time, as we focus our attention on various tasks every day. Every few minutes, our attention shifts from one task to another. This type of ADD-like behaviour causes stress levels to rise, and lowers our productivity.
Try to read for 15 to 20 minutes every morning. You’ll be surprised about how focused you are when you get to work.
Vocabulary expansion and better writing skills
Reading helps your child learn new words and build vocabulary. In addition, children also learn better language skills when they read. Think of sentence construction and good grammar, as well as new words that are not part of the child’s everyday world. Reading helps children to understand how stories are written, and that means that the more they read, the better they write. Many subjects, especially at high school level, require children to write essays. Those who write well, obviously get better marks.
Cheap and healthy entertainment
Reading helps you explore new interests. Book clubs bring people together and it’s a healthy pastime for young and old.
There’s a reading genre for every literate person in the world, and whether you prefer classical literature, poetry, fashion magazines, biographies, religious texts, self-help guides, street lit, or romance novels, there’s something out there to capture your curiosity and imagination.
Reading is not only important for a child’s development and success in life. To enter the right habits and growth attitude is of paramount importance.
Create an environment in your home where reading is a daily habit. You’ll never get back the time that you spend watching television or playing video games. Use your time as family wisely.
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