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The Many Benefits of Independent Reading for Young Children

Jan 29, 2020
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Reading independentlyRegular reading enriches a child’s life. Children learn about ethics and virtues from moral stories while biographies can inspire them to follow in the footsteps of their idols. Fictional books can stir their imagination and spur their creativity while non-fiction books can educate and entertain. Reading independently,especially, can benefit children by improving their reading proficiency. Read this post to learn more about the benefits of independent reading.

What is Independent Reading?

Independent reading is a practice where children read text with very little or no assistance from others. It involves children choosing books that they love to read. Since choice is an integral part of this practice, children can be motivated to read more. 

Children can read voluntarily as a hobby or as part of their homework, and build their literacy. Teachers and parents can offer them guidance in choosing books according to their reading level, and in constructing responses to the text they read.

The Road Map to Better Reading

Young children get familiar with the print form of language when parents and teachers read to them. Reading aloud helps them get familiar with the concept of words and their associated meanings. In school, children get exposed to shared reading, where the teacher reads a book and encourages them to answer relevant questions. This strategy helps them comprehend text they would have otherwise struggled to understand. In shared reading, the child is actively involved in making predictions or arriving at conclusions about the story being read.

Guided reading is a strategy where there is more participation from the children while the teacher acts only as a facilitator. The teacher may provide them a basic understanding of the story but children are expected to do most of the thinking and analyzing. The teacher also prompts the children to give appropriate responses to the text. All the above reading strategies support the reader in developing comprehension and fluency, and prepare them for independent reading.

Benefits of Reading Independently 

Reading in groups may not benefit all children. Those who are easily distracted can miss key points of the book being read. Children who struggle to decode text also may not be able to keep up with peers. These difficulties can discourage them from reading. Independent reading, on the other hand, gives them enough time to focus on words they are not familiar with. This makes reading a positive experience for them.

Reading assistance apps such as MDA Avaz Reader provide reading support and enables children to read independently. Since help is just a tap away, children can choose books that they might have been hesitant to pick. This constant availability of help can be comforting, and make reading a rewarding activity.

Here are some of the benefits of independent reading:

  • Cultivates a Reading Habit

Since children get to pick the book of their choice, they are more likely to develop a daily reading habit. For instance, children who are into automobiles can pick books on cars and trucks. Reading will not feel like a chore for such children because they are reading on their topics of interest. 

With MDA Avaz Reader, you can download exciting stories with captivating images. These fascinating stories motivate young children to read regularly and provide them with daily reading practice.

  • Develops Reading Stamina

Each child is unique and so will be their interests and reading preferences. In most cases, it may not be the reading that children are averse to. It’s the topics that fail to capture their interest. A book about the big bang theory, asteroids, and meteorites can fascinate a child who is a space enthusiast. However, for a child who loves reading about fire breathing dragons, getting through an astronomy book can be a laborious task.

On the other hand, when children read on their own, they tend to read for a longer period of time. Since there is a high level of engagement with self-selected texts, children find it easier to concentrate on reading.

MDA Avaz Reader has a Focus button which helps children focus on a single line at a time. Since they know that there is help readily available, it allows them to read for longer even as they are reading on their own.

  • Enhances Comprehension and Fluency

According to experts, children read more when they engage in independent reading. Reading volume has been found to have a major impact on reading proficiency. As children read more, they expand their vocabulary and comprehension capabilities. The increased reading volume also makes them more fluent readers. 

Learners with English as a second language and struggling readers may be put off by their reading difficulties. Without addressing their difficulty, it may be unfair to expect them to read more. MDA Avaz Reader has a useful Build tool  with which children can re-read texts while paying attention to highlighted words. This improves their comprehension immensely. With better comprehension, they may be more inclined to read, building fluency as a result. 

Reading is not only a leisure activity but is an excellent way to gain knowledge on a variety of topics. Independent reading can benefit children by allowing them to read at their own pace. Assistive tools such as MDA Avaz Reader offer reassurance to children because help is readily available. This results in children gaining confidence which can dramatically improve their reading proficiency.