Ever since the dawn of widely available ebooks and e-readers, there’s been an educational debate surrounding kids’ interactions with digital. While some advocates support the ability to read anywhere, enjoy a virtually limitless supply of content, and engage in educational content like never before, critics don’t agree. In fact, multiple studies took aim at kids’ ereading on the grounds that reading comprehension and retention isn’t as high when kids read on a screen, coupled with the perception that ereading is more “screen time” and entertainment than purposeful learning.
But Scholastic, ever the industry leaders in kids’ reading and publishing, has released the results of its seventh annual Kids and Family Reading Report, and there’s an interesting takeaway: more parents and families are reading aloud than before.
Obviously, other studies have shown the benefits of reading aloud to children, even before birth but certainly throughout childhood. The physical act of reading aloud together has been cited in producing stronger readers, but the family activity has also been shown to lead to gains in reading for enjoyment.
Now, Scholastic’s survey shows that the number of parents reading to their children up to age five has increased by over 50% since the 2014 report, with 43% of parents saying the do so. Seventy-seven percent of parents with a child age five or younger now state they began reading to their kids before their first birthday.
Unfortunately, the number of kids being read to still drops off dramatically around age six, despite evidence that kids that age and older still benefit from family read-aloud time. In that vein, World Read Aloud Day is coming up on February 1st; as with many other book-themed observances like World Book Day and Banned Book Week, this one can benefit from much-needed online attention.
To see the complete report from Scholastic’s recent survey, click here.