Reading is incredibly important. Not only does it broaden perspectives and deepen appreciation for the world around us, but the act of reading itself has real, physiological benefits.
For starters: sitting and reading for a mere 6 minutes can reduce heart stress by 70%, relax limbic activity, activate the pre-frontal cortex, and prime our bodies to relax and think big thoughts, rather than to tense up and think small thoughts (i.e. students can find calm balance, in both body and mind, simply by reading).
If our students are to thrive in the real world, they must gain the mindset of a life-long learner. Students must see reading and self-motivated learning as an essential ingredient to their everyday health; nutrient-dense food, clean water, clean air, plenty of sleep, exercise for the body, and a daily dose of exercise for the brain should all be part of our lifestyle.
Still not sold on the idea that you should read daily? Consider these results from a mound of research:
"The single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school."
"Children who are “well-read-to” (at least five times a week), when asked to tell a story, used more literary language than unread to children, and they used more sophisticated syntactic forms, longer phrases, and relative clauses. They were also better able to understand the oral and written language of others – an important foundation for the comprehension skills that will develop in the coming years. "
"Children in low-income families lack essential one-on-one reading time. The average child growing up in a middle class family has been exposed to 1,000 to 1,700 hours of one-on-one picture book reading. The average child growing up in a low-income family, in contrast, has only been exposed to 25 hours of one-on-one reading."
"Surveys of adolescents and young adults with criminal records show that about half have reading difficulties. Similarly, about half of youths with a history of substance abuse have reading problems."
In other words: you as a parent can directly influence how well your child does in school, in relationships, in their career, and in their daily lives...simply by reading to them, and by having them read in their free time.
To read is to be empowered.
Help us to empower your child and encourage them to take a break from screens and pick up a book. Better yet--read it with them! :)