This summer, as children unwind from a stressful school year, encourage them to pick up those books and read. Encourage children to make reading part of their routine rather than a school assignment. Encourage them to immerse themselves in their imagination, different perspectives, and diverse worlds. 

Encourage children to read. 

Studies show that children who read for 20 minutes a day perform better in school and do better on standardized tests. Becoming an effective reader requires constant practice, so it is important for children to continue to read throughout their summer vacations. 

Here are five reasons why children need to read this summer. 

  1. Avoid the “summer slide.” If children do not read over the summer, they stop building comprehension skills, vocabulary, and decoding skills. By the time students start high school, up to 60 percent of the achievement gap can be attributed to the summer slide. If children choose six books, books that interest them rather than assigned readings, they can effectively enhance their reading skills and go back to school without losing their reading skills over the summer months. 
  1. Books take children on adventures and spur their imaginations. Reading helps children to see situations from different perspectives, placing them in other people’s shoes, in faraway lands, and even in other centuries. Entering these diverse environments, children become presented with various challenging predicaments. Reading helps children to learn to visualize stories and problem solve. Reading helps children practice imagining things by letting words describe images and events. Honing the ability to imagine helps to strengthen their minds, which essentially behaves like a muscle. 
  1. Reading helps children learn to focus. Reading stimulates the brain, helping to build memory and concentration skills. Building stamina while reading helps children learn to focus for longer periods of time. This does not only help children to become better readers, it helps them with every task that they attempt in their lives. 
  1. Reading helps children to become more emotionally mature and empathetic. Reading connects children to a broader human experience, helping them develop the vital skills of emotional intelligence and empathy. Children who read literary fiction develop a greater capacity to understand what others are thinking and feeling. Reading helps children to understand people who are different from themselves. Children who read can more readily identify positive and negative character traits, helping them to identify acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. 
  1. Reading reduces stress and helps children sleep better. Reading has been shown to significantly reduce stress. Opening a book, children are opening their minds to a world far away from their daily stressors. A 2009 study by Mindlab at The University of Sussex found that reading for as little as six minutes a day can reduce stress by up to 68 percent. Reducing stress also helps children to sleep better, as it helps them to release the daily distractions that keep them awake. 

Becoming an effective reader is an important predictor of academic success as all subjects require a sophisticated level of reading comprehension to process concepts. 

GAMECHANGER is always here to connect children to exceptional reading tutors who will help them to develop and strengthen comprehension skills, decoding skills, and to encourage a love of reading.