Benefits of Shared Reading

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Benefits of Shared Reading: A Powerful Activity at Hand

As parents, we want what is best for our children. For them to be happy. To identify their own strengths and weaknesses. To build friendships. To be independent and learn to solve conflicts. To grow strong a body and soul. To know how to listen, respect and feel empathy. Now more than ever, to be resilient and to be able to adapt to the challenges and changes derived from the uncertainties of the world we live in. When this pandemic is over, our children will be able to remember the time we spent together reading and talking. If there is such a thing as a powerful activity at our fingertips especially in confinement, it is shared reading.

Shared Reading: Reading and talking

Shared reading involves a change in the traditional roles of adults and children when reading a story. We adults encourage children to become the storytellers, assuming an active listening posture, instead of simply reading them a story. Our role is to add information, ask questions and encourage them to elaborate their own explanations and points of view. Because in shared reading, just reading is not enough. We also have to talk about what we read, since the conversation before, during and after the reading is as important as the reading itself.

Academic Benefits

Research has shown that children who enjoy reading do better in school. Moreover, the effect of reading spreads beyond academic achievement. Children who enjoy reading achieve better results, regardless of the socioeconomic level of their home, or the quality of the school they attend. The so-called 'fiction effect' has shown that children who read fictional stories (rather than newspapers or comics) have significantly stronger reading skills than their peers who do not.

Better Selfsteem

Children who enjoy reading have more positive self-esteem than those who do not enjoy said activity. This is explained because reading generates a ‘mirror effect’ that allows us to identify with the characters and thus get to know oneself better, which increases the appreciation of our differences and allows us to identify what makes us unique and different from the rest.

Better Empathy

Children who enjoy reading tend to better predict and understand the actions and points of view of others. Reading helps them develop the so-called ‘theory of the mind’ that is, that ability to put themselves in the place of others and thus, understand that people have different values, experiences and opinions that motivate our actions.

Better social support

Reading since childhood also increases our ability to support others. Studies have shown that by reading, we can reduce prejudices against strangers and in that sense, open our possibilities not only to interact with people different from us, but also to be better citizens.

In summary, we invite you to carry out shared reading: a powerful activity that we have at our fingertips especially in confinement. By reading and talking about what has been read, we will not only obtain academic benefits for our children, but we will also help them improve their self-esteem, improve their empathy and increase their ability to help others, which will result in the construction of better societies. To take this challenge, read the next blog on how to implement shared reading.

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