Reading is often promoted as an excellent way to improve one’s English. Indeed, what better way than to immerse yourself in the language? But more than just helping your child to score a better grade on his next English test, reading has far more benefits, both pragmatic and intangible.
Hones the mind
Words are carriers of thought. We think in words and convey our thoughts through words. Reading helps your child to learn from others how to structure their thoughts using words and comprehend effectively. For example, newspapers demonstrate how a writer explains a piece of news through facts, interviews, surveys and anecdotes. As your child reads it, he learns how to analyse information, make connections and reason. These are important critical thinking processes that your child would need in his studies as well as in daily problem-solving.
Enhances Communication skills
Reading builds your child’s vocabulary and teaches him how to form sentences, then stitch them all together into a coherent whole. This helps him to articulate himself quickly and confidently. English is the official working language. Jobs demand language competency: giving a presentation, writing formal letters and emails, or drafting a proposal. Possessing superior language skills will certainly give him an edge in the future. Even if your child is more inclined to the Mathematics and Sciences, he still needs good English to communicate his ideas.
Reading fiction books allows your child to escape into imaginary worlds. Apart from the sheer enjoyment this brings, it helps to nurture your child’s creativity, especially if he begins to write his own stories. That’s why reading shouldn’t be limited to newspapers and magazines. Fiction books are great fun and foster the love for the language.
Newspapers feature happenings from around the globe and raise real-world issues. They teach your child how the world works, and broadens his horizon. It is said “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies”. Books allow your child to witness the world from various perspectives, exposing him to lifestyles and ideas that he isn’t used to. In essence, reading prevents your child from being a frog in the well.
Reading also gives you a chance to spend time with your child. Your child needs someone older and wiser to guide him as he explores difficult subjects and themes that would invariably arise. Seize the opportunity to teach your child about the world and inculcate in him the values that would stay with him for the rest of his life.