Why is reading so important?

Reading is a skill we need for life.

How many texts, websites or street signs have you read today?

You probably did all this reading without noticing you were reading.

We need to read in order to learn, to work and to live.

What would your life be like if you couldn’t read all those things?

Many of us learn how to read without too much trouble. We probably don’t even remember how we did it.

For others, reading can be difficult.

This is not surprising. Reading is a complex process.

When we read, we are doing several different things at the same time.

  • We are decoding words
  • we are working out what they mean
  • We are working out what those words mean when you put them in a sentence with other words.

Reading Starts When We are Babies

Our reading journey starts long before we are able to read ourselves.

From the time we are babies and toddlers, we are learning about words and stories.


By people talking with us and reading to us.

All of these experiences are building our reading brain.

Helping your Child with Reading

We need a toolbox of skills to help us become automatic readers.

At school, your child’s reading toolbox will have skills added to it.

But the reading skills your kids develop at home are just as important.

You have a key role in supporting your child’s reading.

Helping them develop a love of reading has so many benefits.

  • It will give them the tools to do all the reading we do in everyday life.
  • It will open up a world of stories and information.
  • It will boost their learning.

We need to read in order to learn, to work and to live.

That’s why it’s important to be positive about reading.

Notice all the reading you do every day and point it out to your kids.

This will help them understand that reading isn’t just about school or books, it’s about life.

Top Tips for Reading at Home

As a parent or carer,

  1. Start reading books to your kids when they are babies. If they aren’t babies any more, it’s never too late to start.
  2. Notice all the reading you and your kids are doing and celebrate it.
  3. Tell your kids about what you love to read and why. It doesn’t have to be a book, it could be a recipe, a magazine or a manual.
  4. Help your kids figure out what they love reading – follow their interests. Is it video gaming, fashion, humour, spooky stories? There are books about EVERYTHING.
  5. Keep reading books to your kids, even when they can read themselves. It’s not about how old you are – even Grandma likes being read to!
  6. Know where you can borrow books for free. Is it your school library, your local library, a street library, or from friends or family?
  7. Be patient, every child learns to read at their own pace
  8. If you are worried about your kids’ reading, talk to their teacher.

I need help with my own reading

Lots of adult Tasmanians need help with reading. You aren’t alone.

Many parents get help with their reading when they want to support their kids read.

There’s lots of help available.

Get in touch with 26Ten here https://26ten.tas.gov.au/ Or ask about 26Ten in person at your local library.

Top Tips

-Ask other adults and older kids to read to your children.

-There are lots of videos on YouTube of books being read. Sit down with your kids and watch them together. Check out these ones: https://www.penguin.com.au/articles/2877-let-us-tell-you-a-story. Turn on the subtitles of the video and read along with the host.

-Attend Storytime and Rock and Rhyme sessions at your local library.

If you have older kids:

-Turn on the subtitles for music videos or video content they like to watch.

Remember, it’s never too late to become a confident reader.