A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Importance of Reading to Your Child

In a previous post, I mentioned that I've been doing a bit of private tutoring and it's triggered a few thoughts about literacy.
I want to plead with those of you who are parents, especially if you have younger children, to expend every effort on broadening their literacy skills through reading even if it isn't one of their great passions in life. Perhaps, it's becoming something of a cliche and you've become weary of hearing it but as someone with teaching background, I can emphatically say that it really is one of the most important skills you can impart to your children. Especially in this so-called "information age".

The lady that I'm helping right now will be attempting an international English exam for a second time and desperately needs to boost her reading results in a major way. Listening to her lifestory of how she's sidestepped the entire process in her reading development has brought home to me again how important it is that children have a good headstart with their literacy skills whatever their first language might be.

Reading isn't just a school skill... it's a life skill. Even if it's just for 10 minutes a day in our hectic lives. A good foundation will give them something to build on even if they don't end up in tertiary education.
It isn't just about recognizing words, it's also about processing knowledge and ideas.
It's also about training the brain "muscles" to learn in a particular fashion.
It can also help stimulate the imagination and encourage creativity.

Find something... anything appropriate... that your child will read. I know it's hard. Some children seem to be naturally repulsed by books or be indifferent to them. However, I've noticed that the range of graphic novels have expanded over the last decade. 10 year old was reading a Nancy Drew graphic novel yesterday (I didn't even know there was such a thing) but 10 year old is like her mum and dad... she reads almost anything.

 More importantly, however,  (even if it's a magazine or the local rag) you need to read and be seen to read because that says to them that reading is an activity worth engaging in.


  1. Ain't that the truth! I have three boy passionate about reading and I'm sure it is partly because they've seen us passionately reading as much as any other input we've made into their lives.

  2. Absolutely agree to what you've posted. I didn't start enjoying reading till Primary 3 and I wish I had spent more time reading before then. But then again, I made it up by reading everywhere. :) Phoebe now has an interest in words and will ask how to pronounce a word. But mostly Chinese words. Hopefully she'll catch up with her English words when she starts Prep.

  3. You've hit the nail on the head Lilian. Reading is fundamental to nearly every other educational pursuit later on in life.

  4. Wow, thanks for the comments. The post seems to have resonated with some.


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