Recent studies on British children’s reading habits have shown that they are reading less for pleasure than they use to (58.8% in 2016 to 52.5% in 2019 of 8-18 year olds). The publisher Egmont, that co-funded the Nielsen Book Research, feel that there is a strong correlation between older children who are read to each day and who also read for pleasure independently – 74% of 8 to 13 year olds who are read to each day go on to read independently, whereas only 29% of those who were read to less than once a week carried on to read on their own. Most parents stop reading to their child by the time they turn 8 years of age (I am one of those parents sadly), only 19% of 8 to 10 year old are read to everyday, and boys are even more likely not to be read to.
This makes a very strong case for reading to our children daily at home and at school, regardless of their age. Michael Rosen’s article on this issue provides very compelling reasons why this is vital, and how we have to guide our teenagers from the way we speak to the way we write through regular reading sessions without any specific learning activities attached to them. In fact Egmont worked with a school for over a five month period, where the children had daily story time sessions, and found that on average there was a 10 month increase in the reading comprehension ages.
We need to start reading to our children now!
Article on research findings and suggestions:
Michael Rosen’s article: