Being stuck at home during the pandemic isn’t fun, especially for children. There are many ways to help them cope with this difficulty, such as watching TV, streaming shows, and gaming. But constantly relying on these activities can affect their well-being. For instance, staring at screens for an entire day can cause long-term vision problems. It also promotes a sedentary lifestyle.
One form of entertainment that many people no longer seem to favour is reading. The digital age has reduced kids’ attention span, so reading feels like a chore. But reading has many benefits that can make their lives better, especially in the middle of a pandemic. Thus, you need to consider buying more books from good bookshops and building a library at home.
Conceptualizing the Home Library
Your home library doesn’t have to look like a public library with several shelves and rows of books. It can be very simple. For instance, it can look like a tiny bookshop in a corner of your home: a shelf with piles of books and magazines, a figurine or two as statement pieces, and a cosy chair. This relaxing setup can attract your children to stay in it often.
Now, let’s look at some reasons why building a home library is worth it:
The pandemic has caused weight problems for many. It has limited people’s movements with shelter-in-place orders and curfews. Digital entertainment doesn’t help, either. Your kids may be spending most of their day in bed or the couch while watching TV or playing games. Excess weight gain among children is alarming. It puts them at risk of obesity, which can lead to more serious problems.
Your home library can help your children manage their weight. One study found that reading motivated overweight tweens to lose weight. But this effect does depend on the material. In the study, participants read Lake Rescue. This novel is about an obese pre-teen who experiences self-esteem problems because of her weight. By reading this story, tweens in the study were more encouraged to lose weight.
And if kids read stories with adventures, they may be encouraged to be more physically active, just like the protagonists in the stories.
Improved Literacy and Cultural Competency
Building a strong learning environment in the home is crucial to improving children’s reading and writing literacy. When children own books, their reading comprehension levels increase since they can practice reading at their own time and pace. And by being exposed to many books, kids can build their vocabularies, which will improve their writing skills.
Both effective reading and writing skills are foundations for academic success. If you want your children to succeed in school, a home library will be very helpful.
Another benefit of reading books is cultural competency. Through stories, children will learn about other cultures. This will help them know how to properly communicate with people from other cultures and build sound relationships with them.
In relation to literacy, one study found that children who have difficulties in reading comprehension and writing tend to develop behavioural problems. These problems can be mitigated by having a home library that can improve kids’ literacy in both areas.
Also, reading is a great form of stress relief. If kids become overwhelmed with being stuck at home, they can pick up a book and “travel” to a different world. In this case, you need to add fiction to your home library to help your kids relieve stress and enjoy reading.
Books also build children’s empathy. By reading, kids will understand different scenarios. They will be able to imagine what it’s like to be in another person’s position.
Bonding with Children
A home library is also a venue for you and your kids to bond. Reading a story to or with your kids is a great way to build a healthy relationship with them. For instance, you get to learn their likes and dislikes through this shared experience.
Improved Children’s Attention Span
And while on the topic of reading to children, this can also improve their attention span. When you read out loud and include sound effects and voice changes, children will be more engaged.
That said, the more often you read to your children, the more they will improve their attention span. This will help them learn new things more easily and spend long periods working on school projects without problems.
A home library comes with several benefits for your children. It will help them expand your knowledge and become more academically competent, which will set them up for a path to success.