Reading is not just a skill to decode letters but a very important multifaceted process. Reading is not just for pleasure but for overall development of the intellect. It is also the basic tool of education. Reading helps in increasing vocabulary, text comprehension and grammar, fluency in communication skills and many other literacy skills. It promotes positive values, life skills and Higher order thinking skills .
On the one hand, reading boosts one’s confidence and self-esteem and widens one’s understanding of the world. On the other hand, it prevents boredom, stress, anxiety, self pity, depression and even disorders like ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
The sad part is—as per the various surveys conducted–reading habit of children in India is waning. Reasons? There are many. First and foremost, at home, children don’t see their parents and other members do pleasure reading. Second, they are burdened and occupied with academic studies and so no time for general reading. Third, non-availability of right reading materials. Fourth and inevitable, the younger lot are technophiles.
As a ‘non-reader’ progresses to higher classes the effects of poor reading habit shows: slow reading and poor vocabulary and so, badly affected comprehension. This leads to vicious cycle of stress on academic achievement which leads to time spent on extra classes to improve academic performances, leading to no time for general reading, academic performance going down further and eventually adds on to stress.
Are these kids to be blamed or there is something that we all can do?
What we can do:
- Promote Reading for fun, knowledge, understanding
- Spare one hour in a month (split between reading and activity)
- Introduce reading at KG level
- Look for age appropriate reading material with which today’s child can relate. Having depth in character and story.
This will lead to better vocabulary, text comprehension and grammar, fluency, better communication skills and many other literacy skills.