Major drop in teens and reading
I just read this article on the Washington post about reading rates in American teens. The study showed that 48% of kids age 6-8 would read for pleasure daily. By the age of 15 that number drops to 24%. It's been getting worse, not better. 30 years ago 70% of 13 year olds would read outside of school at least once a week, today only 53% do. They attribute it to lack of good reading material and lack of time to read it.
I loved to read as a kid. I got my first chapter book at 4 years old and read EVERY night. It was my favorite part of the day because I could escape from reality and get lost in those stories. I absolutely loved books. I feel like reading so much improved my creativity, language skills, critical thinking skills, and comprehension skills. All of which has been a huge benefit in my life. It's impacted everything from my success in college to my success in my work life. It makes me sad to think that so many kids are missing out on such a simple thing that could make their lives so much better.
I feel like parents focus a lot on kids reading when they're little. We get those cute picture books and read bed time stories, but when they grow up we stop encouraging reading. Teenagers get bogged down with homework, sports, and jobs. After reading textbooks all day the last thing they want to do is sit down and read a novel, but they really should. I admit that I didn't read as much in high school as I did when I was younger. I was stressed out and overworked - all I wanted to do was sleep. If I hadn't had such a strong foundation of reading already I probably would have stopped all together.
I will do my best to keep Avery interested in reading. Right now we read picture books, but as soon as I can I will start reading a chapter a night of bigger books. I think starting at a young age is key. But as she grows I really want to try to encourage books over other forms of entertainment like TV and Texting.
What do you do to keep your kids interested in reading?
Homework is a good thing but you can't expect all kids to want to read after spending a few hours reading (not for fun).