11 Reasons Why Kids Should Read

What My Kids Read: 11 Reasons Why Kids Should Read
Can I ask you a question? Why do you want your kids to read? Believe it or not, this can be a really difficult question to answer!
It could be:
  • To expose them to stories bigger than their current internal world – stories of bravery, sacrifice, redemption
  • To do well in school – develop language skills and expand their vocabulary
  • To avoid screen time – more time with books means less time on tv and computers
  • To cultivate their imagination
  • To expose them to bigger ideas than they may have thought before
  • To prepare them for moral decisions they may face later in life
  • To create a love of learning about new things
  • To create critical thinking opportunities
  • Because we enjoy reading and we want them to enjoy it too
  • Because great men in history read lots of good books
  • Because teachers and other experts say it’s important
Any of these reasons resonate with you? I think we all probably have a combination of some (or all) of these reasons motivating us as we encourage our kids to read, but the more we can narrow our true motivations, the easier it is to see what we really want our kids reading.
For example, if you mostly want less screen time, and you know that the experts say kids should read more, then you may just want your kids reading whatever they want to read (as long as it isn’t detrimental). Fantasy series, superhero comic books, encyclopedias, magazines about video games, or classic novels would all fit the bill – you just have to find out what their preferences are and supply the materials. That is the easiest “why” to encourage.
If you are mostly concerned with developing language skills and critical thinking skills, you probably want your kids reading fiction or certain types of non-fiction. Maybe not The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia (affiliate link), as much as my boys love it (and might even assure you that it is non-fiction!).
If your primary concern is opening their world beyond your small corner, you may want your kids focusing on biographies of great men and women, books about other cultures, National Geographic magazines, and classic novels.
What My Kids Read: 11 Reasons Why Kids Should Read
As my kids have grown, and I have (hopefully!) grown as a parent, I’ve realized that there is more to reading than just language skills. There is a world of stories out there, and many of them can teach and reinforce the truths we want them to learn. Not every book teaches truth clearly, though, and that’s why I’m hoping this little blog will give you more tools to make the decisions about what books will teach and reinforce the lessons you want them to remember.
There are reasons why we want our kids to read, so let’s articulate those reasons and then focus on encouraging our kids to engage with those kinds of books!
Do you agree or disagree with what I’ve said? Have a reason I didn’t mention? Please share in the comments! I love hearing new perspectives and ideas for teaching our children well!
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