I read an article titled "The Long-Term Effects of Skipping Your Reading Homework", written by Pamela DeLoatch on the website EduDemic. (April, 2015) I'd like to share some of the most interesting points the author gave on this subject.
First off, reading really is fundamental. Of course it's important to be able to read in order to learn and navigate through life. But DeLoatch points out there is more to it than that.
1) Reading makes kids better at math. Through a British study it was found that students who frequently read for pleasure had better vocabulary and spelling, and were also more proficient at math. The theory was that reading exposes students to new ideas, which may make new math concepts easier to comprehend.
2) Reading fiction helps children be more empathetic. The University of Buffalo found that students who read novels could place themselves into other people's situations more easily, and had increased compassion.
3) Reading can boost self-esteem and communication skills. A separate education provider stated that those students who have enhanced vocabulary from reading can often have an easier time finding words to express themselves and do not get as frustrated and angry.
I admit, I remember how busy it was when my sons were in elementary school. They had math homework, spelling tests to study for, after school activities, and the list could go on. It's no wonder how the standard daily reading requirement can fall to the wayside! You may reason that your child can catch up on reading minutes during the weekend or during a less hectic time. But folks, does it really happen? Or does something else get in the way?
Besides the benefits given above, I want to share a graphic that demonstrates the gains made when students do their daily reading homework, or sadly... the result of them not reading nightly.
This graphic came from a study (Nagy & Herman, 1987). They determined a student would possibly fall in a particular percentile range on standardized tests, if they read that amount of time. Can you believe those statistics between student A and Student C? Scary right? It just might be a good thing to share with your child, especially if they want to "Skip the Reading Homework" assignment!