Parents already grappling with the cost of living and work pressures can add another uphill battle to the list, as Australian children stop in their early learning years of reading.
An exclusive survey by consumer data company Fonto revealed that 98 percent of parents think reading is very important or very important to their children’s writing and spelling skills, but it has been reported that nearly half of school-aged children only enjoy reading books a little (46 percent). )), and one in five teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18 is said to not enjoy reading at all.
Australian Catholic University Professor of Educational Psychology John Munro described the closure as a “real problem” and said the phenomenon was more pronounced in boys.
“Research in this area shows in about the fifth or sixth grade… a lot of boys avoid engaging in reading,” he said. “When you look at the NAPLAN data, girls, especially after third grade, outperform boys in reading comprehension.
“The more you read, the better you read. When you need to read to learn — in Years 7, 8, 9, and 10 — students who read better will build knowledge better.
“There are real effects that go beyond just ‘enjoying reading’.
Professor Munro said that as children move from “guardian/child to secondary to peer groups”, boys especially need to see other male parents read. He recommended that parents use “scaffolding” to help children think about what they are reading before they start.
“What could happen… what could this person do, and what could the problem be. Have the student put a part of themselves in the text – that’s what they do when they play video games.”
The shutdown is now worse than before, said Dr. Jennifer Buckingham, director of research strategy at MultiLit, “because there is more competition for the way children spend their leisure time”.
“It’s partly because of this interest and the appeal of being on phones and playing games, but there’s also an amplifying effect,” said Dr. Buckingham.
“When children don’t pay constant attention to something like reading a book, their reading stamina decreases, so it becomes easier to get distracted.”
Both Professor Munro and Dr. Buckingham strongly recommended that joint reading not be abandoned, including during the teenage years.
Don’t think, ‘Well, they can read – mission accomplished,’ said Dr. Buckingham.
“Read to them for the first five or ten minutes, and then say, ‘Well, I’d really like to see you at least finish this chapter.’ And then the next night… have them tell you what happened.”
Fonto’s survey results come as Kids News opens registrations for the Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee, a free online competition aimed at boosting students’ spelling skills in years 3-8. Both experts said that spelling was “really important”.
“Spelling should be targeted,” Professor Munro said. “Learning spelling letter patterns that connect meaning, spelling increases vocabulary and really relates to the accuracy with which people say the words.”
Dr. Buckingham said that if a student knows how to spell a word, they are more likely to remember and use it.
“This is especially important for writing,” she said. “Writing is greatly hindered when students do not know how to spell well.”
Do your kids have what it takes to be the best “bee”? Test their skills with the Spelling Bee sticker
Fonto’s survey of more than 1,500 parents also notes that healthy sales in the children’s book category through Covid don’t tell the full story, with 41% of 14-18 year olds rarely or never reading books, And 36 each of the 100 rarely or don’t read the books they’ve chosen for themselves.
In fact, 56 per cent of parents surveyed said that Covid had impacted teaching their children to read and write.
Working mom Renee Novitarger said her son Zach, 11, “has been really enjoying reading” but “has stopped working in the last year”.
“Right now, Zack doesn’t read at all — it’s a constant struggle trying to get him to read,” she said. “I bought him a Kindle, but that didn’t work either…never used it.”
As Zach heads off to high school next year, “Mrs. Nowytarger’s biggest fear is that he’ll get lost in the system.”
“He’s going to a bigger school where one day you don’t have the same teacher, one day outside, so they’re going to lose track of where he’s already,” she said, adding that the Prime Minister’s spell bee was a “great idea.”
“It gives them encouragement, he cares about them,” she said.
Registration for the Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee is now open over here.
about the bee
The Spelling Bee for Prime is a free online competition for students in years 3-8.
Students in their school compete in three competition levels: the green level for years 3-4, the orange level for years 5-6 and the red level for years 7-8.
They get 30 randomly selected words from the competition level and have 25 seconds to write each answer. Students with the correct words advance to the finals in the fastest time.
Teachers can register their students from July 25, and school tours will start on August 15. The State/Territory Finals will be held on September 1-2, and the National Finals will be held on September 8.
National Champion prizes in each age group include a trip to Canberra to meet the Prime Minister and an iPad, as well as a $1,000 voucher for their school.
visit kidsnews.com.au for more information
Originally Posted as Parents face an uphill battle as school-aged children lose interest in reading