Some may disagree with me, but it is my opinion that the two most important subjects taught in school are reading and math. Reading is certainly the most important. Our education system itself is based on the ability to read. Tell a student that reading is important in learning how to do math and they usually don’t understand just how important. As they get into the upper grades and high school, it may be too late if they do not have good reading skills.
Parents have to encourage their children to read at home. Many parents fail to realize that their children are not reading enough. They seem to think that children do all the reading they need during the school day. This is far from the truth.
Why do so many students seem to dislike reading? Or maybe the question should be why do so many students think that reading is not important? Every teacher continually stresses to their students how important reading is and has some sort of reading program to encourage their students to read. If this is so, then where are we going wrong and who is responsible? How can we reverse this trend of children not wanting to read?
Helene Goldnadel says that responsibility falls on two groups: teachers and parents. They have to work together to ensure that students are following some sort of reading program. Parents have to be more diligent in ensuring that their children are reading at home. They have to become involved in what they are reading. Ask them questions about the book such as the plot, setting, main characters, etc. When children see that their parents are interested in what they are doing, it gives them a sense of pride and they begin to attach importance to it.
Some parents actually give their children excuses when it comes to not reading. They have them enrolled in too many activities which interfere with school work. The swimming lessons, soccer games etc. have more importance attached to them than reading. It doesn’t mean such extra curricular activities are not important in the development of children, but there has to be a balance.
The solution to improve the reading skills of children is simple. Get them to read without making them feel they “have” to. Show them that reading can be enjoyable. Show them that reading is important. It is not rocket science. It is just letting children know the importance of reading. One of the best things a parent can do is to show an interest and be active in what their children are reading. Having your child read to you once in awhile and then discuss what has been read is another way to attach importance to reading. Children who fail to realize the importance of having good reading skills are at a disadvantage as they progress through our education system and then into the work force. Students that are avid readers usually do better in their studies. Let’s give them all a better chance to be successful by continuing to stress the importance of reading in school and at home.