School is a place for learning but it is not the only place for learning. In fact, a look at one of the most fundamental elements of the learning process brings us to focus on reading. Unfortunately, studies estimate that up to one fourth of all U.S. children cannot read at their grade level. This means that schoolwork, homework, and essentially all learning is more difficult and frequently nearly impossible because of the importance of reading to provide the instruction and knowledge that makes learning real.

Without reasonable reading skill, essentially all learning – and even everyday life – can be a real struggle. Nearly everything that we need and encounter every day requires reading. Whether it is a pill bottle, a tax return, contracts and agreements, even form letters; they all require reading skill to provide understanding and avoid confusion or incorrect – even potentially hazardous – reaction. Regardless of our own reading skill, it is never too late to help our children develop and improve their own reading abilities.

Since all learning begins at birth, start reading early to your kids. Even if they just look at the pictures and listen, your reading will encourage them to do the same and an early appreciation for books – and reading them – will promote their interest in reading. As they are able to read themselves, find books on subjects that interest them and continue to help and encourage their reading. As they learn and appreciate reading, they will discover whole new views, ideas, skills and accomplishments.

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