Wednesday, 7 December 2011

One third of children don't own any books!

The National Literacy Trust recently published results following a survey of 18,000 school children. The survey was carried out in September with school-aged children from 111 schools across the UK. It suggested that a third (33.2%) did not have books of their own. That translates to 3.8m children UK-wide.

When I did home visits for my Nursery class in September I was fairly shocked to find that only 3 out of 30 children had any books at home. I received mostly blank looks when I asked parents what their child's favourite book was!

However I have since discovered that the children aren't lagging behind in their early reading skills. They seem to be picking up their initial word recognition from TV, computer/console games and the Internet. Their IT skills are generally 2 years ahead of expectation and they are using this channel very effectively to start reading. Maybe this is more effective than books? It certainly seems to be just as, if not more, engaging.

I was equally surprised to find that a few children can write their names on a computer but can barely hold a pencil! I think times are moving on, and that children will always have a huge thirst for learning. With the current rate of technological progress in the world, the vehicle for learning to read is unlikely to be the same as the generation that came before....I wonder how many children received a Kindle e-book reader for Christmas this year!?
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