The instances of kids learning to love reading at an early age continues to be strong, and that’s a great thing! Recent statistics show that over half of all kids aged 6-17 are currently reading a book just for fun, and a full 20 percent of kids in the same age range have just completed one. Strong reading skills are essential to a child’s physical and emotional development, and greatly improve a child’s chances for academic success. Here’s a look at some current reading trends.
Kids vs. Parents
Not surprisingly, kids seem to have a lower realization of how important reading is than parents do. While both demographics say that strong literacy skills are important, over 70 percent of parents recognize this as opposed to just under 55 percent of kids. Almost 90 percent of parents feel that reading for fun is vital to their child’s skills and development, only just over 45 percent of kids have the same view.
Benefits of Fun Reading
Most parents want to see tangible results from their child’s leisure reading activities. Almost 85 percent of parents in a recent study said that developing language and vocabulary skills is the most important benefit from reading for enjoyment, while over 70 percent name academic success and increasing imagination and creativity to be a primary benefit. Less than 30 percent of parents list the importance of escapism as a benefit of free reading.
While those kids who read on a moderately frequent basis has remained relatively consistent, the numbers of kids who read for fun for five or more days a week has just slightly dropped in the past five years. This trend seems particularly evident in kids over the age of 8, which indicates that after they become more independent in their reading, kids may be losing some interest in reading time.
Another factor in the slight drop-off could be the competition of other activities with reading time. As kids discover smartphones, mobile devices, social networking and computer or console video games, these take time away from reading. In fact, the numbers of kids engaging in technology-related activities is on the rise from years past. This is an indicator that parents should take time to continue to encourage fun reading in older kids to make sure these skills continue to develop.
Qualities of Frequent Readers
Indications are that kids who read for fun 5-7 days a week have substantial differences from those who do not. Kids who rate themselves as having a strong enjoyment of reading, who believe that reading for fun is important and who have parents that read frequently are much more likely to develop these habits themselves. Having access to e-readers and a large home library are other common factors among kids who read for fun. This allows them to choose the books they want to read for themselves, rather than having others guess what might be interesting.
The current reading trends are encouraging, but more needs to be done to keep kids over the age of 8 choosing books over social media and games. The best bet is to start young and keep going. Why not take a look at some of our interactive e-books and get your child started on a positive future today!