Study: Reading to Children Past Toddlerhood Increases Child's Love of Reading

Posted on January 8, 2015

Kids and Family Reading Report 5th Edition

Scholastic just released its fifth annual report about children's reading habits and it has good news in it for parents. The good news is that reading aloud to children makes children love books and become readers themselves. But there was a surprise in the survey results; parents can continue to influence a child's love of books if they read to the child long past toddlerhood.

Children whose parents (or teachers or other adults) continue to read aloud to them during elementary school really have an impact. Most parents stop reading to their children when the children can read on their own. But this study shows that it's good to continue reading aloud as long as possible.

The study was conducted in the fall of 2014 by YouGov to examine family attitudes and behaviors regarding reading books for fun. A representative sample of 2,558 parents and children were surveyed. The families had children in ages ranging from infants to 17 years of age.

At the time of the survey 51% of the children aged 6-17 were reading a book for fun. 20% of the children had just finished reading a book for fun. 86% of parents said that reading books for fun is etiher extremely important or very important, but only 46% of the kids made the same statements.

For younger children, whether they chose to read for fun was highly dependent on whether their parents read to them. For teens, it had more to do with having time during the day to read for fun. A large majority of the parents said they wished their children would spend less time using electronic devices, such as phones and tablets.

One interesting finding had to do with ebooks. The study found that more children have now read an ebook since 2010, 77% of children say most of the books they read now are in print. In 2010 25% of children surveyed had read an ebook. This year that figure jumped to 61%. 65% of the children say that they will always read print books, even though ebooks are available.

You can see the full results of the Scholastic Kids and Family Reading Report for 2014 in .pdf format here.

Photo: Scholastic