What Studies Show
The British Cohort Study found that teens who read more books at age 10 and had continued to read books till the age of 16 were found to have had better test results. No surprises here.
Studies also show that children who started reading at a young age made greater intellectual progress. Besides improving literacy skills, reading exposes children to new ideas, concepts and information.
Wouldn’t you expect every child to be avid readers then?
Sadly, the situation is not so.
What’s Stopping Our Children From Reading Then?
Parents lament that their children are not reading even though they have bought many books home. Today’s children prefer to spend time with their electronic gadgets, the smart phones and the tablets.
This is what I call the Trojan horses of the 21st century.
Electronic gadgets have entered our home like the wooden Trojan Horse of ancient Greek.
Lying inside the Trojan Horse are the sleek and shiny objects, the ticking time bombs, waiting to take over your children’s health and reading habits.
These devices discreetly undermine the children’s learning. They lurk behind the children’s mind and are constantly luring children away from the joys of reading and writing.
This unfortunate phenomenon is happening across the globe, and Malaysia is feeling the pain. Unless parents decide to intervene, the war against reading and writing will be lost to the modern day Trojan Horse.
Hidden Dangers Of Digital Devices For Younger Children
Although not apparent at first, reading with electronic devices can be harmful for younger readers.
According to the Huffington Post, the use of technology for those under the age of 12 can be detrimental to the child’s development and learning.
Lisa Guernsey, director of the early education initiative at the New America Foundation, says: “The technology is so exciting that the conversation focuses on what button to push instead of the content.”
It is found that US students are sleep-deprived at a rate 30% higher than the international average, probably due to addiction to these devices.
60% of parents do not supervise their child’s technology usage and children are given permission to keep their electronic devices in their bedrooms. One in 11 children aged 8-18 years are addicted to technology.
The Joy of Reading Printed Books
The humble printed books provide hands-on tactile involvement as you turn the pages. You feel the comforting weight of the book in your hands and hear the rustle of pages flipping as your eyes peruse from left to right and top to bottom of a page.
This process of slow immersion in the story of the printed book is an effect that cannot be replaced by electronic devices.
Reading a printed book is different from reading from a responsive device as it allows a child to be engrossed with the words as compared with the interactive sounds and visuals.
These words will form a imaginative picture in a child’s mind which is essential in getting children to love reading. The ideal environment is the child snugly tucked in bed and cuddling with a parent sharing the story of a book.
That is why at Scholar Base we provide an environment where children can immerse in imaginative worlds of the books.
They can delve deep into the historical periods, run with heroes, follow a quest or an adventure, and experience wars of the past. And they do all this in their reading corner.
The children at Scholar Base enjoy adventures in the classical literature such as Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island, Tom Sawyer, Wizard of Oz, Mark of Zorro.
The high school children will enjoy more complex plots in literature such as Merchant of Venice, Animal Farm and To Kill a Mockingbird.
Parents have to give this privilege to their children before their minds are overtaken by the siege of the Trojan horses.