National March Into Literacy month is here and Red Apple Reading is joining in the celebration! Reading is a crucial skill for continued school success. Unfortunately, many kids begin to lose interest in reading as they become older. Some parents assume that since their child has already learned how to read, daily reading is unimportant. However, being able to read does not automatically assume full literacy. Continued reading throughout the school years is vital for developing fluency, comprehension and vocabulary.
1) Increasing Vocabulary – One important reason for students to continue reading as they become older is because regular reading helps to increase vocabulary. As a child continues to read, the books they choose become progressively more difficult. More advanced books lead to more challenging texts; thus helping to foster a greater vocabulary in the student. If a child stops reading, he loses the opportunity to encounter new words as frequently as he would if he regularly picked up a book. Older kids who do not regularly read for pleasure may experience frustration when their high school teacher gives them a reading assignment because they do not understand the meaning of words within the text.
2) Developing Fluency – Children who carry on with reading as they progress through school also have a better chance of attaining reading fluency. Fluency is the ability to read accurately at an acceptable rate (not too fast or slow), with proper expression, while following the punctuation. Fluency is important because it affects reading comprehension. In their book, Reutzel and Cooter state that, “Because of the ‘automatic’ nature of their reading, fluent readers are able to focus their attention on the ideas in the text and comprehend the author’s message.” (The Essentials of Teaching Children to Read) *. It is imperative for older children to continue reading in order to develop this level of fluency.
3) Growing Comprehension – Reading involves much more than just putting sounds together in order to form words. Full literacy also involves comprehending what has been read. After all, the reading process is of little value if your child does not understand what she is reading. As has been stated above, children who read regularly develop fluency, which in turn leads to better comprehension. In this way, fluency and reading comprehension are inseparable – one skill leads to another.
If your kiddo’s interest in reading has waned over the years, encourage him to renew his passion. Perhaps a trip to the bookstore or library to pick up a new book will help to reignite his love of reading. By encouraging their older children to read, parents can join the “March Into Literacy” movement!
Source: * Education.Com