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The Surprising Number of Books Kids Actually Read in a Year

The Short of It

The Scholastic's Kids and Family Reading Report reveals some very surprising things about our children's reading habits, including that they may be reading less than five books a year!

The Lowdown

The Scholastic study examines kids of all ages and their reading habits, and it found some eyebrow-raising stats:

  • 71 percent of parents of kids ages 6–17 wish they would do more things away from screens (yes!).
  • 75 percent of parents wish kids would read more books for fun.
  • 54 percent of kids ages birth through 5 years old are read aloud to at home between 5 and 7 days per week; by age 6, that number plummets to 34 percent; by age 9, it's only 17 percent. But...
  • 83 percent of kids of all ages love being read to.

Meanwhile, the report divides kids into two main categories: Frequent and Infrequent Readers. Frequent readers consume up to 5–7 books per week for fun. Infrequent readers are only reading for fun once per week. Three quarters of infrequent readers admit they haven't read in a while. Ouch.

What is most shocking is that the infrequent group in the age range of 6–11 is reading around 22 books per year, while the frequent group reads twice that amount. Then between the ages of 12–17, infrequent readers only read 4.7 times annually.

The Upshot

What I take away from this data is that we can't stop reading to our little ones when they learn how to read themselves. And as parents, we can't just wish our kids would step away from the video games; we have to make them.

So how can you make your child a frequent reader? The key seems to be to set a good example by reading yourself, especially as kids grow up. And encouraging good reading habits in your kids early will foster their love of reading, as will continuing to read to them throughout their childhood.

Check out this list for some great ideas for books to read as a family.

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