No Bedtime Stories Affect Children’s Literacy

By Vishakha Sonawane, Parent Herald September 18, 09:35 am

Parents who stop reading bed-time stories to children early, around seven years of age, may affect their literacy, a latest study reveals.

The Oxford University Press study says that two-thirds of six-year-olds enjoy reading bedtime stories with their parents. The study also found that around 44 percent parents think they no longer needed to read bedtime stories.

"All the research proves that reading for pleasure is inextricably linked to attainment and benefits all aspects of children's lives," said James Clements, a former head teacher at an outstanding primary school who worked with OUP on the study to Daily Mail. "Parents need to understand the huge impact reading with their children can make and how vital it is that reading for pleasure doesn't stop at the school gate but is continued at home. Just ten minutes of reading with their child every day is one of the best ways they can support their education. Reading together six days a week means an extra hour of support for a child. It's definitely cheaper than an hour with a tutor and it could make a much bigger difference.'

For the study, researchers surveyed 1,000 children aged between seven and 11. They found that half of eight and nine year olds were rarely or never read to at home. Only a third of ten-year-old children read with adults, reported the Daily Mail.

According to Clements, children should be encouraged to learn through different genres of books, taking turns to read, discussing and ensuring the child understands new words.

In a previous study by The National Literacy Trust, students were found to be 13 times more likely to read above the expected level for their age if they cherished reading. "Parents are really important reading role models and our research shows that children's attitudes to reading improve the more they see their parents read, so we'd encourage all parents to make time for enjoying a good book themselves," a spokeswoman for the Trust said.

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