Reading – Why Parents Need To Step Up

In this digital age there are many distractions. It is now more important than ever to instil in our children a desire to read and a desire to play. Why not give them a better understanding of the impact it can have on the rest of their lives.

We live in a very high-stress, fast-paced world. Our children are exposed to many stimuli, and have a variety of ways to consume entertainment and knowledge that often simple things, such as our children’s reading success, is at risk.

This is why early literacy skills are important to develop from a young age to ensure their reading success and to avoid an early literacy gap.

Why Reading Matters:

  • The annual cost of illiteracy to businesses and taxpayers in the United States is 20 Billion Dollars.
  • 7000 High School students drop out on the daily due to being illiterate.
  • 3 out of 4 people on welfare are illiterate.
  • 3 out of 5 of people, who are in prison, are illiterate.

Literate People:

  • Attend more social and sporting events
  • Are more confident and motivated
  • Partake in performing Arts Events
  • Are able to do Public speaking
  • Are able to learn at a faster pace
  • Are more successful
  • Have a higher success rate of getting a job
  • Are more confident

There is no denying it, reading is in a decline. Across the board, studies have shown that we do not read as much as we used to.

Did you know?

  • 48% of American Adults read literature for pleasure.
  • Over the past decade, the percentage of Americans who read the newspaper, has dropped from 41% to a shocking 23% – this is why the Reading Head Start Program is so beneficial for our children.
  • 43% of American adults read at or below a basic level. This works out to be 93 million people!
  • The number of high school seniors who read in a clear and correct manner, has been in a decline since the year 1992.
  • SAT reading scores are currently the lowest they have ever been in 4 decades.
  • 26% of children who were read to by a family member at least three times a week, could recognise the entire alphabet.
  • 14% of children were not able to recognise the alphabet.

Introduce Reading:

  • Read to your child from a young age.
  • Have books, newspapers and magazines around the house. Teach your children that these mediums are apart of every day life.
  • Read on your own moms and dads – if your child sees you reading, the chances are they may just copy you.
  • Never use reading as a punishment.
  • Don’t make reading a chore.

Scary Stuff:

  • By the time underprivileged children have turned three years old, they have heard 30 million words less than the average privileged three year old child.
  • Before they have even started preschool, they have fallen behind and take years to catch up.
  • Studies have shown that some children only start speaking at a scary, five years old because their parents weren’t consistent with interacting.
  • Between 86-98% of our children’s vocabulary is developed at home and learnt from us.

To Do At Home:

  • Talk
  • Sing
  • Read
  • Play with Flash Cards and Toys
  • Write

Download 58 FREE Beautifully Designed Alphabet Flash Cards Today

Reading Supports Cognitive Development:

Reading to children from a young age, has proven to improve and help assist the process of cognitive development. Cognitive development is the ability to think and understand. It includes things like remembering, problem solving, and decision-making, from childhood through to adolescence and then to adulthood. It refers to how a person perceives and thinks about his or her world. This is done by information processing, intelligence, reasoning, language development, and memory.

Reading Improves Language:

While you may speak to your child every day, the vocabulary you use is often limited and repetitive. Reading books ensures that your child is exposed to different vocabulary on different topics, which means they hear words or phrases which they may not hear everyday. The more words they know, the better. For children who speak more than one language, reading is an easy way to help their language skills and develop their fluency.

Reading Makes A Relationship Stronger:

It goes without saying that reading to your child on a regular basis can help you forge a stronger relationship with them. When it comes to children, one of the most important things you can do to positively influence their development is spend time with them. Reading to your children provides a great opportunity to set up a regular, shared event where you can look forward to spending time together, and your child will trust and expect that you will be there for them. The importance of trust to small children cannot be overstated.

Other Benefits Of Reading:

  • Reading helps develop a child’s imagination and creativity
  • Reading helps children develop empathy
  • Books are a form of entertainment
  • Helps with Essay writing and comprehension later on down the line
  • Reduces Stress
  • Improves Memory
  • Develops critical thinking skills
  • Builds Vocabulary
  • Improves writing skills
  • Improves communication skills
  • Improves focus and concentration
  • Builds self-esteem
  • Helps you sleep better


“Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.” 

– Warren Buffett

Why Reading The Same Book Repeatedly Is Good For Your Children:

Vocabulary and Word Recognition
The more a child reads, the larger their vocabulary becomes. When a child reads or hears the same book multiple times, they become familiar and comfortable with a greater number of words. That text you’ve memorised? Chances are your child has too, and that’s a good thing.

Pattern and Rhythm
Hearing favourite stories read aloud helps children become aware of the pattern and rhythm of text. Language is more than just words — it’s how words sound and connect to each other. Parents can model the rhythms of reading for children who are just learning how language works.

Fluency is the ability to read text “accurately, quickly, and with expression.” Repetitive reading allows a child to read without stumbling or stopping, and reading time becomes more pleasant for everyone. Once a child masters one book, it makes moving on to another more appealing.

comprehension is the ability to understand all the components of a story — from plot to character development to symbolism. Comprehension is “the essence” of reading. Each time your child reads or hears a book read to them, they learn more about the story itself. Each pass through the text or illustrations allows them to dive deeper into the story’s meaning, preparing them for more complex narratives down the road.

With fluency and comprehension comes greater reading confidence. Children who can follow a story and don’t stumble over words are more self-assured about their abilities and more likely to enjoy reading.

“When we upgrade our mental OS, our main apps (speaking, writing, and communicating) all begin to run faster and more smoothly”.

Reading & School:

By the End of Kindergarten, Your Child Will Be Expected To:

  1. Recognise and name all upper- and lowercase letters in the alphabet
  2. Read basic single-syllable words
  3. With prompting and support, identify the main topic in a text
  4. Retell familiar stories

By the End of First Grade, Your Child Will Be Expected To:

  1. Recognise the distinguishing parts of a sentence including capitalisation and punctuation
  2. Pronounce unfamiliar but commonly spelled one-syllable words
  3. Read words with inflectional endings (-ing, -ly, -ed, -tion)
  4. Identify the main idea of a text

By the End of Second Grade, Your Child Will Be Expected To:

  1. Pronounce unfamiliar two-syllable words
  2. Recount stories and say what the lesson or moral is
  3. Identify the beginning, middle, and end of a story
  4. Identify the points of view of different characters

Don’t Be Concerned if These Skills Develop Erratically, Unless Your Child:

  1. Has trouble remembering new words
  2. Has trouble blending sounds together to say words
  3. Says reading is easier for their classmates
  4. Avoids reading silently or aloud


Without children learning the ability to read, their maths, comprehension skills and ability to write sentences correctly, will be severely affected.

It is up to parents and au pairs to teach children in ways that serve their needs. If you are a role model to a child and would like to further yourself and true understanding of children, then look at our Training Page for more information on our course. Our course is an alternative to au pair training