The Thanksgiving weekend, as is typical for me, was a time to reflect on the abundance of people and comforts I am grateful for in my life. I realized over the weekend that one thing my mother taught me that I am most thankful for is the value of reading. My mother was an English teacher who loved books of all sorts, but she didn’t limit her love of reading to books. She showed me the wealth of options available in magazines, newspapers, and online publications.
One striking observation I have made at work is that students who read independently are able to perform better in general on standardized tests and tend to improve more rapidly on these tests. Reading an array of material builds knowledge of language, comfort with English grammar, and familiarity with passage and argument structure.
If your sons or daughters hate reading the arcane novels forced upon them in English class, show them how to find material that relates to their interests. Read about fashion or sports in The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal instead of on Bleacher Report or People. Give your children the power to educate themselves through reading, and they will inevitably be better suited for the demands of modern society.
Succeeding in most modern workplaces is impossible without the ability to read and respond to emails efficiently. The ability to read at a high level will give your child a better chance to flourish not only in standardized testing but also in a professional and personal setting.
Even though all children will not love or embrace reading, you should try to teach them the value of reading in building a successful future.