Sunday 29th November 2020

To quote Dr. Seuss, "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." Yes, this says it all: reading is the key to success!
Evidence form The National Centre for Educational Statistics agrees with Dr. Seuss: "Research consistently shows strong correlation to reading and academic success at all ages." The Department for Education support this too, but with a significant shift in focus, bringing enjoyment to the spotlight: 'Evidence suggests that reading for pleasure leads to increased attainment.' So, there we have it: reading is the key to success!
However, this doesn't change the fact that there are a lot of reluctant readers out there. For whatever reason, books aren't high on their priority list and many young learners would much rather be spending time doing something else. Yet, if developing the skill of reading in turn affects a child's cognitive development and life-long success, surely it should be one of our main priorities when helping our children begin a long-lasting learning journey. Establishing a deep-rooted reading habit at home - not just in school - has to be at the heart of raising intellectually curious children heading for success.
'He doesn't like reading' or 'she's not really much of a reader' is no excuse to stop promoting reading at home - don't give up folks! If we want reading to be a habit, we absolutely must be determined, because we know what a huge challenge it can be for some learners. It is a skill we must hone, this takes practice, perseverance and plenty of encouragement, and not just in those early days. If we provide our children with lots of different reading experiences and expose them to different genres and authors, as they continue to grow up, they will eventually come across something which piques their interest. It's this spark which can ignite the flame which makes reading a passion (rather than a chore!). If home promotes reading as entertainment - which most do in the early years, with the much-loved bedtime story ritual - then, in the eyes of our young learners, books begin to take on value. Modelling reading at home and championing the cause will reap rewards! At the same time, it's not just reading which will improve, so will concentration and stickability to stay on course, journeying to success.
Whilst our ultimate aim is to empower our children's progress by getting them to read for pleasure, along the way, they will be doing so much more than just developing their comprehension skills or finding answers in a passage. Reading is key to developing empathy, inference, decoding skills, visualising, predicting, making connections, questioning and independent research. We want our children to have inquisitive minds. And, it's not just about acquiring knowledge. Reading is also escapism. As Dr. Seuss says, "Reading can take you to places you have never been before." In a world where problems can seem overwhelming, reading can transport us beyond our current situation, into another place, another time, another world entirely! Children need to escape as much as adults, and our imagination is often the perfect place to retreat to. Reading is its own reward.
With Christmas on the way, if you're stuck for ideas and are looking for some stocking fillers, visit links below for some inspiration. In this current climate, where lockdown leaves us with some time on our hands, we can all make time to pick up a book. Dr. Seuss wants us to make books available, so come on folks - "Fill your house with books, in all the crannies and all the nooks"!
Links to book lists for primary, secondary and reluctant readers:
Love Reading for Kids
Good Reads

The Benefits of Reading for Pleasure:

  • literacy: reading attainment and writing ability
  • text comprehension and grammar
  • spelling
  • breadth of vocabulary - lexical richness
  • positive reading attitudes
  • greater self-confidence as a reader
  • general knowledge
  • a better understanding of other cultures
  • community participation
  • a greater insight into human nature and decision-making

"You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book."
Dr. Seuss

At Achievers Tutoring, we actively teach reading strategies which promote the value and enjoyment of reading, not just to pass exams (and pass them with pride!), but to inculcate reading for pleasure - a life skill, and the key to success!

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