Scholastic publishes first Kids & Family Reading Report on children’s reading habits
Scholastic has released the findings from its first Kids & Family Reading Report Australia, a survey of 1748 children aged six to 17 and parents exploring family attitudes and behaviours in Australia towards reading books for fun.
The report includes statistics on reading frequency predictors, the frequency of reading and how much children enjoy reading, the impact of reading aloud to children, what children want to read and the role of schools in developing reading habits.
The survey found three dynamics as the most powerful predictors of reading frequency for children: how often a child is read books aloud, a child’s reading enjoyment and a child’s knowledge of their reading level. Predictors for children aged six to 11 include where they read for fun, parental involvement and how early they started being read books aloud; for children 12-17, predictors included having parents who are frequent readers, the belief reading books for fun is important, and in-school opportunities to talk about, find and read books.
Among the findings, more than half (58%) of the children surveyed believe reading books for fun is either extremely or very important, and 60% of kids said they love reading books for fun or like it a lot.
Just over one third (37%) of children were found to be frequent readers, and 76% said they know they should read more books for fun. Seventy-eight percent of parents wished their child would read more books for fun.
On reading aloud at home, most (86%) children said they loved being read books aloud at home, and more than half (57%) of kids aged up to five are read aloud five-to-seven days a week, with the frequency decreasing with age. More than half (51%) of children aged six to eight whose parents no longer read books aloud at home did not want their parents to stop. Almost 60% of parents of children aged up to five started reading books aloud to their child before the age of one, with those in highest-income households more likely than those in lowest-income households to receive advice to read to their child from birth (65% compared to 26%).
Students given the opportunity for independent reading at school are more likely to enjoy reading books for fun and believe it’s important, especially among older children. Overall, 34% of children say they have the opportunity to read a book of their choice at school.
On subject matter, an overwhelming majority agreed that their favourite books were the ones they pick out themselves. Most children want books that make them laugh, and nearly three quarters (73%) of children surveyed said they would read more if they could find more books they like. Eighty-nine percent of school-age children have used their reading level to pick out books, but just over half (56%) have been told their reading level.