The start of the new school year means that reading for fun at home can often take a backseat to homework, sports, and everything else! And the latest Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report™ (KFRR) has shown us that reading frequency and enjoyment begin to drop dramatically as kids turn nine—an alarming trend known as the “decline by nine.”
But we have good news! KFRR also revealed that kids who are frequent readers have almost double the amount of books in their home libraries as infrequent readers do, meaning reading at home can be the key to cultivating lifelong readers. As you start the new school and begin to build your at-home libraries, Scholastic would like to offer parents and families three guiding principles to ensure their kids love reading, and read often:
- Guided choice – Data from KFRR tells us that kids are more likely to read if they choose the book themselves. Kids expect a lot from their books, but finding the right book is still a struggle with nearly half of kids telling us they can’t find books they like to read. Leaning into alternative formats including graphic novels, magazines, and audiobooks and guiding, rather than controlling, kids toward great options can make all the difference.
- Voice – Ask your kids about what they want in books and how books make them feel. Preferences will evolve, so keeping reading alive through conversation is key to supporting kids. And while you are talking, don’t forget the importance of reading aloud regardless of age: more than 80% of parents and kids love/like read-aloud time.
- Diversity – According to KFRR, about 70% of kids and parents also believe diversity and representation in books is important, and yet nearly half of all kids ages 9–17 wish there were more books available that include diversity. Seek out books that explore different cultures and parts of the world, and that introduce kids to new experiences and ideas.
These principles are sure to guide all parents in creating literacy-rich environments at home that will help raise engaged young readers. Need advice on what books your kids will absolutely love? Check out The Power of Story catalog, filled with book suggestions perfect for kids of all ages and reading levels. Happy reading!