Scholastic recently conducted research to take a closer look at the ways in which the increasingly popular use of digital devices, both at home and in the classroom, impact children’s and parent’s reading behaviors. The Scholastic 2012 Kids and Family Reading Report is a national survey we conducted in partnership with the Harrison Group that explores kids’ and parents’ attitudes towards reading.
Here are the top 5 findings from our research:
- The number of kids reading ebooks has nearly doubled since 2010 and kids who read ebooks are reading more…especially boys. Half of children age 9-17 say they would read more books for fun if they had greater access to ebooks – a 50% increase since 2010!
- While ebooks are certainly becoming more prevalent in kids’ lives, we also found that there isn’t a seismic shift that indicates kids are going to leave print books altogether. In fact, this is quite the opposite. The study found that 80% of kids who read ebooks still read primarily print books for fun. 58% of kids ages 9-17 say they will always want to read books printed on paper even though there are ebooks available (a slight decline from 66% in 2010), revealing the digital shift in children's reading that has begun.
- According to the study, there are two factors that have the highest impact on children who are frequent readers. Not surprisingly, when parents are frequent readers, their kids are also frequent readers. The second factor is a large collection of books and reading materials in the home – these have a greater impact in kids’ reading frequency than does household income.
- About half of parents (49%) feel their children do not spend enough time reading books for fun, while the vast majority of parents think their children spend too much time playing video games or visiting social networking sites.
- Ebooks can have a positive effect on kids’ self-esteem – their peers can’t tell anything about what they are reading and this becomes very important if they are a struggling reader or are not on a reading level on par with their peers. ebooks are personal and private so challenged readers can still look “cool” reading, even if it is a book at a lower reading level. When asked, kids said that ebooks are better than print books when they do not want their friends to know what they are reading. On the flip side, kids say print books are better for sharing with friends and reading at bedtime.
It is critical that kids increase their stamina for reading for longer periods of time as they grow and that they are exposed to, and have practice with, rich, voluminous reading and texts. Whether children read print or ebooks, the more children read, the better readers they become, and the better readers they become, the more they enjoy reading. But reading practice cannot only occur in the classroom; children need access to books and time to read at home every day. So…make the pledge to raise a great reader with these 5 “raise a reader must-do’s”!
- Be a reading role model for your children – let them see you reading every day.
- Fill your home with books and reading materials – magazines, newspapers, comic books, how-to guides, reading material that will tap into your children’s interests and passions.
- Read aloud to your children – even after they turn 8! Don’t stop! Kids love to be read to and the longer you can do this the more you will: show your kids that reading is fun, build their vocabularies, develop background knowledge they will need to understand meaning and texts when they read on their own and inspire a lifetime love of reading!
- Build reading into your children’s daily schedule – help create reading routines at home and the habit of reading will grow with them over time.
- Let your children read print, digital or both…as long as they read every day!
Read the full Scholastic 2012 Kids and Family Reading Report here.