Why should schools care about recreational reading?

Why should schools care about recreational reading?

Should teachers set aside time during the school day for kids to read for pleasure?  Yes. Should schools do more to encourage kids to become recreational readers? Yes. Will there be enough of a payoff for our education system even if it means less time spent on other things? Yes  The answer to all these questions is most certainly yes.

Reading for pleasure, recreational reading, free voluntary reading, personal reading– whatever  you want to call it–  is built upon the intrinsic goal of reading because it directly benefits the reader: Reading for the sake of reading.  Yet there are myriad indirect benefits that come from recreational reading, many of which lead to profoundly positive educational outcomes.

Source: Freepik

A teacher should care that a student reads for pleasure, because reading brings pleasure to the student!  However, more than that, a teacher can also point to so many other benefits that come from recreational reading that will pay off in terms of academic achievement, social learning and character education.

If teachers (or parents, or administrators) are worried that the kids are missing out on valuable educational lessons, please remember this: Students who read more for pleasure will do better in school.  Recreational reading has many, many indirect educational benefits to students. Students who do more recreational reading will see improvements in vocabulary, writing skills, grammar, spelling, comprehension, critical thinking, concentration and so many other skills that are essential to one’s overall education.

Moreover, students who read more for pleasure will grow in social and emotional learning, as students can share in the experiences of different people, growing in empathy and understanding for people all backgrounds, ages, genders, orientations, beliefs and cultures.

As if those weren’t enough reasons for reading, here are some more. Reading books can help mitigate against the harmful effects of too much time spent on phones and in front of other screens. One simple and yet important example of this is that studies show that people who read from books or magazines before bed will sleep better than those who are looking at screens before trying to fall asleep.

There are so many reasons to read.

Schools need to do more to encourage kids to read for reading’s sake.  In doing so, the school will reap the rewards of having kids who do better in school.


 

October is International School Library Month
and Canadian Library Month.

 

Read something really good over the break?

eofaWe hope that you had an excellent March Break. Hopefully you got a chance for rest, relaxation and recreation. More so, we hope you had the chance to do some recreational reading.  Let us know what you read over the break. Use the comments section below to let us know some titles!

 

Why SSR?

bookthiefWhy SSR?  (Reason #8 of 3,487,659) Reading allows you to visit other times.  You can experience life in other eras, whether it is historical fiction that takes you to the past, or speculative fiction that imagines the future. You can go back to your own past of the the last few years, or you can go back deep into history.  You are physically stuck in this time and place but reading allows you to visit other times and places with your mind.

Of course, even better:  (Reason #1) Reading for fun is fun.

vikingmystory futuregames midwi

Why SSR?

writingWhy SSR?  (Reason #4 of 3,487,659) Reading for fun improves your writing.  The more you read, the more you see what good writing looks like (and bad writing too!) You can read about writing, but more importantly, whatever you read, non-fiction or fiction, you see examples of writing. You learn from the examples to make you a better writer. The more you read, the more you are exposed to a wide variety of writing genres, styles and methods.  The more you read, the more ideas you get for your own writing.

Of course, even better:  (Reason #1) Reading for fun is fun.

Why SSR?

buckheavyssrWhy SSR?  (Reason #14 of 3,487,659) Reading for fun increases your concentration. There are so many things that distract us all day long, requiring divided attention for shallow thinking. Reading longer texts for sustained periods requires greater levels of concentration for deeper thinking. The more you read for fun, the more you will be able to concentrate on other things for longer periods of time.

Of course, even better:  (Reason #1) Reading for fun is fun.

Why SSR?

buckheavyssrWhy SSR?  (Reason #7 of 3,487,659) Reading for fun increases your vocabulary.  In fact, studies show that reading for fun (recreational reading or “free voluntary reading”) is much more effective in building vocabulary than common strategies such as studying vocabulary lists.

Of course, even better:  (Reason #1) Reading for fun is fun.