I have a massive collection of books in my home, many filled with inscriptions from various family members and friends who have given them to us as gifts, usually at Christmas time. Books are very special treasures here. In our family, story time is a special, comfortable, (sometimes wildly fun) time. While many of these books were gifts, the time and happiness associated with them are the biggest gifts of all.
A survey taken of Ontario students writing standardized tests administered by Ontario’s Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) found that only 50% of grade three and grade six students in 2010/2011 reported that they liked to read. That is a drop from 76% of grade three students and 65% of grade six students in twelve years – a decline significant enough to call a ‘worrying trend’ according to People for Education’s report Reading for Joy.
As children make the transition through elementary school, they move from learning to read to reading to learn.
Students who like to read will naturally read to learn more about things that interest or entertain them as time goes on. On an international level, 2011 OECD findings demonstrate a direct link between reading enjoyment and school performance. They cite the practice of regular reading as the reason.
Reading efficiency draws one into the material being read and aids in the comprehension of stories.
For a child, the more time spent with a parent reading aloud increases his or her level of attachment, enhances a sense of security, and imparts the knowledge that their parent feels they are worthwhile people with whom to spend time (How to Raise a Reader, 1987).
If you have a child in kindergarten, grade one or grade two who brings books home to practice reading for homework, check out Familiar Reading: How to make Reading Homework Fun! for tips on how to ensure that reading never feels like homework (even if it is).
Mabel’s Labels knows that having special story time is one of the most rewarding and heartwarming activities we can do with our kids. That’s why they created this adorable video of Mabel’s Labels staff reading with their kids. After you watch it, be sure to check out the great personalized books for kids they have available to make reading with your kids even more special this holiday season.
And no matter what you read, I wish you tidings of comfort and joy!