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How to Develop Stronger Reading Habits

Child reading a book on a couch

The Information Age has brought remarkable advances in our technologies, from smartphones to electric cars. However, it also comes with a cost. Research shows that the increased use of technology negatively impacts reading habits and comprehension skills. We’re more likely to read information off a computer or mobile device, and we want the most important information available at a glance. 

With more technology in schools harming academic performance, it’s crucial to incorporate more vigorous reading habits for better cognitive development so your child can get the most out of their education.

The Benefits of Daily Reading

Today’s average child spends nearly 45 hours per week with media, compared with 17 hours with their parents and 30 hours in school [source]. Building a daily reading habit can help balance things out.

Daily reading benefits include:

  1. Exercise for your brain to strengthen its circuits and signal (essential for staying sharp as we age)
  2. Improved literacy skills
  3. Fiction reading boosts empathy 
  4. Builds vocabulary
  5. Reduced stress
  6. Better sleep when used to wind down before bedtime
  7. Can help with mental health 

How to Strengthen Reading Habits

We know the technique to build strong reading skills, but how do we help today’s students become avid readers for life in a digital society? 

The most important thing to remember—reading should be enjoyable! Here are other ways to nurture a love of reading:

  • Lead by example! 
  • Read a book together and have a conversation about it. 
  • Create a quiet reading space in your home with quick access to various books.
  • Visit your neighborhood library.
  • Provide autonomy by letting them pick what they want to read.
  • Don’t focus on just books! Allow your child to read grocery lists, recipes, user manuals, and other things found in your daily life.

If Your Child Isn’t A Fan Of Reading Traditional Books, That’s Okay!

As soon as something is forced, it feels like a chore. Intentional use of social media or the internet to find blog posts and articles that they’re interested in works, too. Some things you can do to prevent them from spending too much time in front of the screen include: 

  1. Set a screentime timer.
  2. Remove distractions from other platforms or unnecessary browser tabs, including hyperlinks found in blog posts and articles. Experts recommend that students read through the text first, then open any links to avoid getting sidetracked. 
  3. Encourage a sense of balance of taking notes with pen and paper if they want to comprehend the information better. 
  4. Take breaks to improve focus and build reading stamina.

Develop The Skills & Habits While They’re Young

Oxford Learning’s Little Readers program ignites the passion for reading in young children and give students the tools to succeed in school. Contact us today to learn more!

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