The path to becoming a reader begins in infancy when the youngest children start to absorb and connect with the world around them. Learning to read is a slow and gradual process and requires children to be exposed to different experiences and resources throughout the earliest years of their lives.
Reading was once thought of primarily as a necessary educational skill — and it is — but many educators today want to transform students into readers who genuinely enjoy the experience.
At OWIS Riyadh, we are considered the best school for expats, which can be attributed in part to our literacy-rich environment. Reading is at the foundation of everything we do, and our educators strive to provide all students with personalized experiences that help them build on their reading skills.
Reading Benefits Across All Grade Levels
Reading is so much more than just being able to understand the words that are written on a page. It’s a skill that sets a child up for success in nearly every aspect of their life.
The benefits of reading are practically endless, but these are some of the most important benefits that students enjoy when they develop good reading habits in primary school:
- It supports the development of language skills. Children who are able to read well and expand their skills often are better at speaking and communicating.
- It helps children bond with their parents, caregivers, and teachers. Reading, in the early stages, is an activity that the child does alongside their caregiver. It helps to support their social and emotional development.
- It improves cognitive development. When children are reading, they acquire new information and knowledge on every page.
- It helps young learners become more focused. Reading is an intentional act requiring children to be fully present. This is a skill that will extend into the classroom in every area of study.
At our premier American school in Riyadh, we know that the only way to become someone who loves reading is to begin building on those skills in the early years of education. At every grade level in our primary school, students enjoy engaging lessons that enhance their reading skills.
Promoting Reading at Our International School in Riyadh and at Home
Reading is not merely a subject area at OWIS Riyadh — it’s a way of life. We build reading activities into every aspect of our lessons, which allows our students to unknowingly become strong and agile readers. We promote reading at our school and at home by:
- Making storytelling an essential component of classroom life.
- Our library resources include a diverse collection of storybooks, cultural books, and reference materials like dictionaries. We also utilize McGraw Hill for leveled books to support language proficiency, and IXL for both language and math learning.
- We provide access to online books through platforms such as Epic, Duck Duck Goose, and Khan Academy Kids. We encourage students to explore even further by using platforms like YouTube Kids, Storyline Online, and Vooks to access a broader selection of books.
How Parents Can Encourage Good Reading Habits at Home
Parents play a pivotal role in helping their students develop good reading habits. By supporting the work that teachers are doing in the classroom and creating a reading-friendly environment in the home, parents can help their children become avid readers. These are a few simple steps that parents can take to encourage reading at home:
- Read with your child. Whether you are reading a story aloud or simply reading books next to one another, you are showing your child that reading is an integral part of life.
- Create a quiet reading space that is appealing and comfortable. Your child will want to spend time with their favorite books in this area.
- Let your child read books that interest them. This is one of the first ways that they can explore their own interests and passions.
How Educators Can Support the Development of Good Reading Habits
Naturally, educators play a critical role in transforming children into readers. At our international school in Riyadh, our teachers and instructors rely on innovative reading strategies that can be personalized to meet the needs of the individual child. One of the first tasks teachers take on when the school year begins is reading assessments, as this allows our teachers to understand where each child is and what goals they should set for that student. Once those assessments have been completed, teachers will actively work to engage students in a variety of reading activities. These can include individual reading sessions with the teacher, partner reading with peers, and reward reading — which is when students can choose a light and fun book to read about a topic of their choosing.
Resources to Rely On for a Great Reading Experience
In order to provide our students with the best American education in Saudi Arabia, we invest in innovative resources designed to improve their reading experience. Our students have access to high-quality books, audiobooks, e-readers, reading apps, and more. By having a wide variety of materials available, we are able to cater to the individual preferences of each student.
Reading Tips for Students at Our American School in Riyadh
Looking to help your child become an even better reader? These are some tips that will complement their IB education in Saudi Arabia:
- Bring books and other reading materials with you in the car. Encourage your child to read while you drive.
- Set an example, and read for fun where your child can see you.
- Practice reading in real-life settings. Read the restaurant menus together, or point out road signs and have your child read them.
It’s not enough that young children simply learn to read — it’s imperative that they develop a love of reading that will last a lifetime. Together, parents and teachers can support young readers every step of the way and help them reach that moment where they genuinely love to read.
Learn More About the Role Reading Plays at the Best School in Riyadh
We are able to offer an American IB education in Saudi Arabia thanks to our immersive learning environment, which supports young readers at every stage of their development. From our state-of-the-art classrooms to our extensive library and outdoor learning environments, students have the space they need to dive into their favorite books and multimedia resources.
Learn more about the journey to becoming a reader at the leading international school in Riyadh. Contact OWIS Riyadh today to set up a campus tour.