Succeeding at School

How to help your child succeed at school

A 2006 ABS study shows that 46% of Australians, aged 15-74 have literacy levels below level 3. Level 3 is considered as the minimum level to meet the demands of life and work in the 21st century. Many people with poor reading skills have lower paid jobs and poorer health outcomes.

We know that:

  • Not all children arrive at school ready to take advantage of the learning opportunities provided at school. In Australia 22% of children are developmentally vulnerable in one or more domains of development
  • Children who fall behind in the first few years of schooling often find it very difficult to catch up to their peers even with appropriate intervention.
  • Many families are not aware of the importance of promoting their children’s early literacy or the strategies to use to ensure its development
  • Year 4 children ranked 27th out of 45 countries in reading making us one the lowest ranked English-speaking countries in the world.
  • Many of our children, across the Wimmera Mallee, are below the national benchmark for reading, writing and language skills. Our kids don’t do as well at school, on average, as their city cousins.
  • But, here is the good news. There is a simple way to help our children succeed at school. We should read to our children from birth every day. Aim to read at least a book a day. The more reading and books, the better. It’s always a great bed time ritual to read to your children.

Literacy is a vital skill in today’s world. Reading with children from birth is probably the single most important activity families, communities and professionals can undertake to improve their child’s future ability to read and write.

Sharing stories from birth gives children a great start to life. The best way to get children ready for their future is by helping them build a solid early language and literacy foundation well before school. Reading with children helps protect them from later reading problems, supports vocabulary (word) and brain development and helps strengthen adult-child bonding.

Children are born ready to learn and the best learning occurs early in life. Parents are children’s first and most important teachers. Building strong reading skills starts very early in life. Kids who are read to from birth, will do much better in reading and this helps them to succeed at school. Children who read well do better in education, and this leads to getting a good job, higher pay and having a good life. It doesn’t matter if it only takes one minute, five minutes or ten minutes. Any time is better than no time at all.

Every time you read to your baby it helps to create those important connections in the brain that support brain development and good literacy skills. Reading skills are skills that will serve your child well, for life. Reading a book in your child’s early years is so much better for them than playing on a ‘screen’.