There are plenty of activities to fit it in to an average school child's weekly schedule. Apart from school homework and tuitions, there is much to do. There is time for T.V but no time to read. Here is what making time for reading can do which the T.V cannot.
Reading should never be presented to children as a chore or duty. Instead, it should be offered to them as a precious gift" - Kate DiCamillo.
What's the connection between reading outside of school and academic performance?
More than what you can possibly imagine. Keeping time outside of school for pleasure reading is a magical way to augment your child's abilities in a stress free and yet effective manner. Here is how it helps:
Broadens Knowledge: Reading exposes your child to a wide range of topics, ideas, and perspectives that may not be covered in your child's school curriculum. It helps your child expand his/her knowledge base and gain a deeper understanding of the world around them.
Enhances Vocabulary and Language Skills: Picking up a variety of books to read, exposes your child to a variety of words, sentence structures, and writing styles. This exposure helps improve your child's vocabulary, enhances your child's language skills, and boosts your child's overall communication abilities. Given the time and space, they learn to observe these nuances by themselves and even use them in their own communication.
Improves Critical Thinking: Reading stimulates critical thinking skills as your child analyzes and interprets the content. It encourages your child to form opinions, make connections, and think critically about the themes, characters, and ideas presented in the text.
Enhances Imagination and Creativity: Fiction allows your child to immerse themselves in different worlds and scenarios. It helps as It sparks your child's imagination, encourages creative thinking, and helps your child to develop the ability to visualize and think beyond the boundaries of reality. This imaginative thinking can benefit your child in various aspects of life, including problem-solving and innovation.
Boosts Empathy and Emotional Intelligence: Reading fiction, particularly stories that delve into characters' emotions and experiences, fosters empathy and emotional intelligence. It helps your child understand and relate to different perspectives, cultures, and experiences, ultimately making your child more compassionate and understanding towards others. At one of the batches at the Young Readers' Club, we are reading the book Harvey Holds His Own. One of the main characters in the story often finds herself in situations where in she is unable to gel with her friends in school and tries really hard to fit in. At times it gets irritating, but how she figures a comfortable space in that mess, is something the readers are looking forward to discover. Turns out that everyone of them shared connections with their own school stories in which they have found themselves trying to please their friends or pretending to like something because their friends do. They said they feel sorry for this character and can easily relate to her predicament.
Reduces Stress and Promotes Relaxation: Reading can serve as a form of escapism and provide a break from the stressors of daily life. It allows your child to unwind, relax, and engage in an enjoyable activity that can have a positive impact on your child's mental well-being. Readers at the Young Readers' Club who chose to read Alien Next Door series (Read Confessions of a Book Club Facilitator While Reading the Alien Next Door series), love sitting back, taking a macro view of the series, finding the nice bits and the bits that they think are somewhat silly or predicting what stupid thing the character in question is going to do next.
Expands Cultural Awareness: By reading books from different cultures, your child gains insights into various traditions, customs, and ways of life. This exposure to diverse cultures promotes cultural awareness, tolerance, and respect for others' backgrounds and beliefs. The book The Boy Who Asked Why is one such example that changed the mood at the Young Readers' Club. There was a mix of emotions. Some readers made connections to similar stories they have heard about while others expressed shock over the unfair treatment that was meted out to the people of a lower caste.
Improves Academic Performance: Regular reading outside of school has been linked to improved academic performance. It enhances your child's comprehension skills, boosts your child's ability to analyze and interpret information, and strengthens your child's overall reading and writing proficiency. Reading large texts and making inferences becomes second nature with a daily reading habit. This becomes incredibly useful especially in high school where the content to be read and understood keeps increasing.
Enhances Focus and Concentration: In a world filled with distractions, reading requires focus and concentration. By dedicating time to read regularly, your child learns to concentrate on a single task for an extended period. This skill can benefit your child in various academic and professional settings.
Fosters Lifelong Learning: Cultivating a habit of reading outside of school nurtures a love for learning that extends beyond formal education. It encourages a mindset of lifelong learning, where your child would actively seek knowledge and engage with ideas long after their formal education has ended.
Even dedicating just 10 minutes of your child's daily schedule to reading can make a tremendous difference.
Ideas to make 10mins for reading
A small comic book or a small story book that is easily accessible between classes. Reading anything counts.
Waiting somewhere? Have a story book in hand.
How about a lovely bedtime story? You reading your child also counts. It is quality time spent together.
Creating a reading nook that has comfortable seating, good lighting and ofcourse plenty of books to choose from. Even better if you also spend sometime there reading to mark the reading nook as a 'place conduce for reading and enjoyment."
Reading as a family. Setting aside some quiet time when everyone in the family spends time reading something of their choice.
Being a part of a book club, especially ones that allow room for choice of books to be read and discussed.
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Both weekday and weekend batches are available at the Young Readers' Club. While this program is for the 8-12 age group, the Young Writers' Club program for the 13-15 age group offers a weekly platform to read and discuss curated articles from the news, observe writing approaches and practise one's writing skills.
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