In today’s high-tech world, there is a growing group of parents who wonder whether “old-fashioned” books still have value for children. They think that the interactive games and stories on smart devices, paired with educational programming on television, offer a richer experience than plain, simple books on paper. While it is important for children to gain modern skills and experiences, critical skills and knowledge are gained from reading books that are not replicated or replaced by technology.
Reading Sparks Imagination
Many children start out having narrative books read to them by their parents, books that take their imagination in new directions. The child is the one riding in the car or flying through the air. The child is the one solving the mystery. The child is the one meeting interesting people. Imagination enhances creativity and creative expression.
Reading Builds Vocabulary
As a child’s reading ability advances, he or she is exposed to richer vocabulary. Parents can enhance this by actively introducing new words and talking about their meaning and context. Exposing a child to both modern and classic stories helps build vocabulary in other ways by introducing how language was used in the past. This helps the child see how language changes and evolves.
Reading Enhances Reasoning Skills
Reading is great for building reasoning skills. Children learn how to discern fact from opinion. They can determine the relevance of certain ideas and facts to a given situation. They can make inferences and comparisons between two things. They can learn how to draw conclusions.
Reading Imparts Cultural References and Historical Information
A society is more than just the passing moment. It is a rich tapestry of cultural references and historical information intertwined with modern life. Reading is one way for a child to absorb pieces of this rich tapestry. If a child only reads contemporary books, they lose this heritage and their link to society is weaker.
Reading Helps Instill Virtue
The books you choose for your children offer you the chance to instill certain virtues into their world. You know what values are most important for your family. You can select books that teach the importance of hard work and respect for others. You can go for books that teach obedience and family unity. The choice of books is up to you, especially with younger children.
Reading Offers Variety
Books come in many forms. The earliest books read to children are often narrative stories. As a child grows older, informational books come into the picture; instead of reading about a character going on a trip to Alaska, the child reads about Alaska itself. Introducing a variety of reading materials offers the chance to expand a child’s world and develop the mind in ways that reading a single type of book does not.
Reading Challenges Children
A child that is not challenged is a child who is not growing and experiencing life in full. Reading is one way to provide challenges for a child. Reading stimulates a child intellectually, mentally, and even emotionally.
There are so many reasons why children should read. Reading is an experience that parents can share with young children and encourage in older ones. Offering a variety of reading options allows a child to explore his or her own interests while building critical skills that will help them go further in life. If you are looking for classic books that will enrich your child’s reading experience, take a look at the Happy Hollisters by Jerry West.