Books can be informative, funny, engrossing, fascinating, absorbing and much more. But they shouldn’t be dull or hard work. If a child complains that they don’t like a book, suggest that they choose another one. This encourages them to make positive choices and take the lead when it comes to reading. And this is exactly what we at Yap Books want – we want children to learn how to read on their own terms and to enjoy it.
In primary school, once children have mastered the basics of reading, they slowly move through ever harder stages, improving their comprehension and vocabulary as they do so. Further up primary school, children can choose their own book, usually from a designated selection, and are then often tested on what they have learnt from it. Although well-intended, from a very early age this system has a tendency to turn reading into a chore – just another piece of homework to be ticked off, and as a result quite often turns children off reading, even once they are very capable.
But there is far more value in reading than this. Studies have shown that reading contributes to our wellbeing and lowers our stress levels. Being comfortable and immersing yourself in a story is something that we can all enjoy throughout our lives. It is a simple pleasure that takes you out of the now and into another world. We learn to empathise with characters and can learn from the situations in which they find themselves. This is particularly valuable for children, as it can improve their relationships with others, teach them how to solve problems and cope with being part of society.
It has been proven time and again that reading improves overall academic performance, but it also improves memory and recall, and increases concentration. If a child can concentrate on reading for a certain period of time, their brain will become accustomed to focussing on a single task. To have this ability is beneficial throughout life, from primary school through to old age. Reading is also known to help fight off the onset of dementia by keeping the brain active and focussed.
Reading is also of course one of the simplest forms of entertainment. Frequently when a child complains of boredom, the parent will suggest they read a book, but because of the perception of reading as work, this is often greeted with tones of disgust and a preference for turning on the games console. Reading with your child from a young age, encouraging an interest in books and even talking about books that you read yourself will fire up your child’s enthusiasm and hopefully help to avoid this negative response.
Yap Books wants children to love reading from a young age to help counteract this sense that reading is boring. We want children to feel in control and that reading is about having fun. Our library offers an ever-increasing range of books that use unique voice-activation technology to capture and engage a child’s attention. As a result, reading a Yap Book instils a sense of delight, which we hope will ultimately lead to long-term mental health and relaxation, greater academic achievement, improved relationships and self-confidence, and of course, a life-long love of the written word.