How To Inspire Your Kids To Read

Posted on June 15, 2006

The Kids and Family Reading Report was released and it has some interesting information about childrens' reading habits.

The time kids spend reading for fun declines sharply after age 8 and continues to drop off through the teen years, according to a new national study released today by Yankelovich, a leader in consumer trends tracking, and Scholastic, the global children´┐Żs publishing and media company. While 40% of kids between the ages of 5-8 years old are high frequency readers (reading for fun every day), only 29% of kids ages 9-11 years old are high frequency readers and the percentage continues to decline through age 17. The Kids and Family Reading Report, a national survey of children ages 5-17 and their parents, also found that parents can have a direct impact on their kids' reading attitudes and behaviors, especially by reading more frequently themselves and by helping kids find books they like.

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The importance of parents as reading role models is evidenced by the fact that children of high frequency readers are far more likely to read for fun every day than children whose parents are not high frequency readers. The study found that 53% of children whose parents are high frequency readers are reading books for fun every day; however, among children whose parents are low frequency readers (reading 2-3 times a month or less), only 15% read for fun daily. Parents who are high frequency readers are more likely to see themselves as primarily responsible for encouraging their children to read than parents who are low-frequency readers (60% vs. 46%).

The study showed that the main reason teens stopped reading was because they couldn't find books that they liked. Parents beleived that the reason children stopped reading is because they are given too much homework. The most interesting result is that when the parents read a lot, the children read a lot.

That means that it's not enough to cook, clean, drive carpool and help with homework. You must also be seen at least once a day with your nose buried in a copy of Shakespeare's Sonnets or Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities. And if you're too exhausted to read, you could always use the time to catch a quick nap -- so long as you've mastered the art of sleeping with your eyes open. If you snore, drool and drop the book, the effect is ruined.