In a school there are two types of children, children who choose to read and children who don't. Reading influences your child's experience at school in more ways than you would think. One way that is often overlooked is the relationships children form with their teachers. Teachers love children that they know they can teach effectively and in order for the teacher to achieve this the child must communicate with the teacher. Communication between teacher and child occurs through marking and in-class conversation. This post outlines the ways reading helps build a better teacher-pupil relationship which will ultimately improve your child's learning.
1. Teachers appreciate what they have to say.
Reading increases your verbal skills. Children pick up the majority of their vocabulary through words they 'hear' on a daily basis, however, conversational vocabulary is predominantly basic and often incorrect, especially amongst children who prefer to speak colloquially or in 'slang'. Reading a book opens you up to a world where words have been chosen very carefully. Words you wouldn't necessarily hear whilst sitting on a bus or watching The Simpsons. A child that reads knows how to communicate better with adults. Of course it is a teacher's job to adapt their understanding and communication skills to that of a child, but a child that can rise up to match your own level is appreciated. Teachers have a better understanding of what the child is trying to say and therefore find it easier to solve their problems.
2. They are thinking machines that solve their own problems.
Reading a book encourages children to ask questions. "What does this mean?" "Why did he say that?" "Where did the rabbit go?" Questions that can only be solved by the child. This skill is invaluable and the best place to develop it is inside a reading book. A child that can successfully solve their own problems relies less on the teacher. The more independent your child is from the teacher, the more successful they will be, the teacher's job is not to directly put the information into your child's brain but to help them find a way to put it in themselves. A child that is already doing this is miles ahead.
3. Their books are a pleasure to mark.
Marking is by far one of the most challenging aspects of being a teacher, you spend hours upon hours marking every week. Different types of books, rough ones, graffitied ones, torn ones, sticky ones (eww). But the moment you pick up a book and the presentation is impeccable, the titles are underlined, the edges are straight, the sheets are glued in and the handwriting is legible - you can't help but smile. Reading books gives you experience in how to present your work when you are doing your own writing. You take better care with your spelling, you pay more attention to writing on the line, you make sure that your words can be read clearly. You understand how difficult it is to read something that is not clear, therefore you are less likely to produce rough work. When a teacher enjoys marking a child's book, they spend more time on it and therefore the child makes good progress.
4. Their teachers rarely have to repeat themselves
Reading gives you a fantastic memory. You create memories when you can relate what you know to something that you knew before. Reading books helps you to create memories and the more memories you have the more your capacity for remembering increases. A child that only has to be told something or taught a topic once moves on the the next stage quicker and makes better progress.
5. They listen to what teachers have to say.
The more you read, the more comfortable you are with words. A child isn't going to understand 100% of the words that are coming out of the teacher's mouth. They simply analyse the words they do recognise and try to piece together what the teacher is trying to say. This process is stressful and can lead easily to distraction and daydreaming. A child that reads has a higher exposure to words, will recognise a higher percentage of the words the teacher is using and will therefore listen to a teacher for longer.
How To Encourage Reading
Encourage your child to read more by...
Reading a book yourself
Talking about some of your favourite books and how much you loved it
Asking them what the book they started 2 months ago is about
Attending a club where reading and writing is encouraged and fun
Encourage them to write their own stories
The benefits of reading are plenty, but one of the key skills it develops is their ability to communicate their needs well with their teachers.