Reading – The Gateway to All Learning

When parents think about raising a child who will be successful, their thoughts are often geared to a child’s academic accomplishments. While success is not always defined solely by academic standards, most parents will go the extra mile to ensure their child has a solid foundation for school. As reading is the gateway to all learning, one way they can do this is to encourage their kids to read. Reading helps develop comprehension and vocabulary skills, which are critical to academic success.

Reading is a vitally important acquisition in life and leads to learning in every area. Gaining reading skills early will be critical to understanding math, history, science and other subjects. A struggling reader will have difficulty engaging in and enjoying the learning process at school. Even though many parents hold out hope that a poor reader may be a strong math student, the truth is that reading skills are required for every subject. Take, for instance, a typical math problem like the one below.

Joey is looking for a way to earn money during his summer break and decides to offer a dog-walking service. He plans to walk one dog at $8.00 for 30 minutes. If he walks three dogs a day, how much money will he make? How long will it take him to walk four dogs?

For many students who suffer from poor reading and comprehension skills, that problem is going to require a lot of effort. During tests, when time is at a premium, the poor reader will spend more time on word problems than is needed. Without adequate comprehension skills, a student might get the answer wrong. This will result in a frustrated child who may disengage from the learning process and ultimately earn poor grades.

Reading is also vitally important to building vocabulary skills. When a child reads, he inevitably comes to words that are not familiar. Of course, encouraging him to use an online dictionary or other tools to define the word is one way to capture the word’s meaning. But reading the word in context, i.e. within a story or passage, gives a child a better idea of how the word is used. A strong vocabulary is important to subjects like science or history, which require constant reading. The more words a child learns, the better he will understand a variety of other material. One of the key benefits to developing a strong vocabulary is that soon your child will be comfortable adding new words to their everyday language.

Recognizing how critically important reading can be will inspire you to teach your child the literacy skills needed for a solid education. Developing comprehension and vocabulary skills, specifically, will equip your child to meet the academic challenges ahead of him. Reading will bring your child a love of learning and the ability to explore a variety of subjects. It is the doorway to a lifetime of achievement and the gateway to all learning.