Do you have a home library? If you haven’t, fix the situation immediately! Australian scientists have concluded that the number of books at home positively affects the level of education of one’s children, their communication skills, and future well-being.
What is the study about?
Scientists have analyzed the data of 160,000 questionnaires, which were filled out by adults aged between 25 to 65 years. Participants were asked to estimate how many books they had at home when they were teenagers. Answer options ranged from “10 or less” to “500 or more”. To make it easier for the respondents to estimate the quantity, they were told that one meter of shelving holds about 40 books.
Participants were also tested for literacy, understanding of general math concepts, the degree of social skills development, and the ability to collect and analyze information.
It turned out that there is a link between these skills and the number of books at home.
What conclusion did scientists come to?
According to the survey, the average number of books at home is 116. Let’s point out that in different countries this number is different. For example, the average number for Australia is 148 books, for the UK – 143, and the USA – 114. While in Norway, the Czech Republic, and Sweden the number of books at home is more than 200. Estonians are the leaders in the world: 35% of respondents have more than 350 books at home. The lowest number was in Turkey – 60% of families admitted that they had only 5 books at home.
It turned out that the literacy level of adults with higher education is about the same as that of those who dropped out of school but regularly read books in their teens.
“Adolescent exposure to books is an integral part of social practices that foster long-term cognitive competencies. Literacy-wise, bookish adolescence makes up for a good deal of educational advantage. These reading-driven abilities not only facilitate educational and occupational attainment, but they also lay a foundation for lifelong routine activities that enhance literacy and numeracy. It is not just: if you read books as a kid, you are good at reading books later on. You are actually good at literacy in a completely different environment, the digital environment,” writes Dr. Joanna Sikora, head of research at the Australian National University.
Food for thought
It’s not surprising that an early acquaintance with books is of great importance for the proper development of the child. Along with enriching vocabulary, reading helps the child learn new information faster and perform better at school. Reading not only teaches kids to think and develops the imagination, but it also helps to achieve career success and have a higher social status in the future.
One must admit that books are a great way out for families with low-income. After all, you can close the gap in education with the help of books. The key thing is to learn how to encourage your child to read.
It is undeniable that it’s very difficult to compete with gadgets, which with one single touch open the door to the world of entertainment. On the other hand, you need to be a skillful reader in order to enjoy books. It takes a long time and requires much effort to develop this skill, especially at the very beginning.
Nicola Read2Play is an app that is designed to help your child fall in love with books. Nicola’s main principle is — first read and then play!