Have You Read a Good Book Lately?
Thoughts of the bedtime story come to mind when thinking about daily reading. Many of us have pleasant childhood memories of snuggling with our mom or dad while they read our favorite story to us. Sometimes we chose that same nightly story over and over again. Many of us have experienced parenthood; reading that same story over and over to our own children. Eventually we are listening to our children as they read aloud to us, proudly demonstrating their new skill. We hope this early exposure to books develops a love of reading. Then the school years come along and reading becomes more of a chore than a pleasure. Little did we know that there are many long term benefits to reading every day.
Here Are 5 Benefits of Daily Reading:
- Memory Development
Daily reading develops memory improvement and creates strong analytical skills. As you read a story, from beginning to end, you must recall the details of the story, the characters, the back story, and the plot. The brain’s ability to retain that information aids in the development of short term memory. Keeping the mind mentally stimulated can also reduce or prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Daily reading exercises the brain, keeping it strong.
- Stress Relief
Reading reduces stress by allowing the reader to engage with the written word. It creates an escape for the mind and distracts the reader from the worries of life. Studies have reported that just 6 minutes of reading a day reduces one’s stress by approximately 70%.
- Vocabulary Development
The more you read the greater your exposure to words that eventually become a part of your vocabulary. Krashen (1993) reported that when we read for pleasure we involuntarily acquire a large vocabulary, develop the ability to understand and use complex grammatical constructions, develop a good writing style, and become good spellers.
- Improves Writing
Reading well written work directly impacts the writing of the reader. Much like the Improvement of vocabulary, exposure to proper structure and mechanics similarly develops the ability to write. Daily journaling, along with daily reading increases one’s writing skills.
- Develops Communication Skills and Boosts Self-Esteem
Language is enhanced from exposure to the written word, with its rich vocabulary and complete sentences. A child that can verbally communicate with confidence is less likely to become angry due to poor communication skills. Having the ability to communicate one’s feelings effectively leads to higher self-esteem.
Reading is more than academic. It feeds the mind and nourishes the soul. The options are endless when it comes to choosing a reading selection. Find what suits the individuals in your family, shut off the electronics and read for a little while each day. This habit can literally change your life!
Tara Aldrich is the CEO and President of Educators On Call, the provider of quality substitute teachers to charter schools in the Greater Delaware Valley. She has over 16 years of experience as an educator and administrator. Find E.O.C. on the web at www.educatorsoncall.org