A survey by Oxford University Press has found that many children are starting primary school without ever being told stories at home. More than half of primary school teachers admit to coming across at least one child in their classroom who has never been told stories at home, leaving literary experts branding it a “national disaster”.
Blaming the rise of TV viewing and games consoles, the teachers also revealed that the only stories their young pupils did know came from watching Disney cartoons and films.
“This isn’t just an economic thing. You get a lot of children from privileged backgrounds who’ve spent a lot of time in front of the TV and not enough time snuggled up with a good book,” education advisor Pie Corbett told the Guardian. “The TV does the imagining for you – and it doesn’t care whether you’re listening or not.”
Experts believe that children who read instead of being glued to a TV screen benefit from a boost in language skills, imagination and develop abstract thought. “It’s a key predictor of educational success,” Pie included.
Shocked by these findings? If you want to get your tot reading, why not check out MFM’s guides to the best books for babies and toddlers, plus find out our favourite childhood reads.