Reading - A Learned Skill

ReadingJust as some people seemed to be “born musicians”, or “born athletes”;  others may need to practice, train and study to be the least bit proficient in those areas.

What many might not realize is that reading does not come naturally to one child over another. Reading is quite simply a skill to be learned and practiced, just like practicing basketball or playing the piano takes time and effort in order to develop and master those skills.

By the time kids officially start school, however, they have already lost a large window of opportunity for learning. Studies have shown that if children enter kindergarten with little to no reading experience, they are already miles behind their well-read peers in knowledge, vocabulary, and comprehension skills, and will struggle to keep up and understand. In fact, studies have linked not learning to read at a young age to struggles throughout school and life.

Consider the following:

  • Kids who don’t learn to read experience a decrease in self-esteem and motivation because they are embarrassed about their difficulties.
  • They will become frustrated and will likely learn to hate and avoid reading.
  • Children who read poorly up until third grade will have most likely never reach average levels of reading fluency.
  • Reading difficulties in school greatly increase the risk of school failure and account for such things as absenteeism, truancy, juvenile delinquency, substance abuse and teenage pregnancy.
  • Poor readers are more likely to drop out of school. Only two percent who graduate high school attend a four-year college.