The Importance Of Nonfiction Text
If your kid is reading any book, that’s a serious win. Reading is one of the best activities for a child, and has some of the greatest benefits of any learning endeavor. It can be so easy for parents to be like, “Well, at least they’re reading” and not push the issue of genre — this is especially true if you aren’t into nonfiction yourself.
Nonfiction gets a bad rap as being stuffy and boring. Our private school knows that kids want the action, the drama, and the storytelling that comes from fiction. However, reading nonfiction and growing adept at comprehending nonfiction texts is such an essential skill. Take a look to see why, and contact Resurrection Christian School in Loveland if you have other questions about helping your child’s literacy grow!
Nonfiction Is Everywhere
News articles, map directions, biographies, research studies — we encounter nonfiction much more frequently than we realize. But since many of us are not as drawn to nonfiction, it makes sense why we tend to browse and skim a bit more, and lose interest faster. Our brains simply aren’t trained to process it as fluently as we do when reading fiction.
Even though it’s challenging, encouraging your child to build up their nonfiction foundation will help them in day-to-day life, not just in the classroom (although that’s another benefit that our private school is about to go into).
Nonfiction Builds Vocabulary
Another reason why we often struggle more with nonfiction is the jargon. Complex topics often use Tier III vocabulary that is very specialized. Not knowing what a word means — and not knowing what multiple words in a nonfiction text mean — have extraordinary effects on our comprehension. In fact, one study showed that in order for English Language Learners (ELLs) to understand what they’re reading, they need to know 98 percent of the text.
It makes sense why we collectively shy away from nonfiction. We have to understand what we’re reading in order to connect to the text. Having to constantly decode and use context clues to figure out what something is saying requires tons of focus, which is hard to maintain for extended periods of time.
With all that being said, this is exactly why our private school encourages your child (and you) to read more nonfiction. It provides a challenge that truly helps expand in literacy skills. As a solid nonfiction reader, your child will be even stronger in their reading and writing skills elsewhere.
Testing Is Based on Nonfiction
One quick note: RCS does not want standardized testing to be the basis for nonfiction reading, nor education as a whole. But that being said, test performance is used to differentiate instruction for students, and it also provides practice for later tests (such as the SAT or ACT) that help with college placement. To do well in college, your child will have to do well on tests.
The majority of test questions for science and history, as well as a good number for English, are going to require a solid understanding of how to read nonfiction text. Your child might know the answers, but if they’re unsure what the text is describing and how to apply their knowledge, they’ll likely struggle.
In order to truly prepare your child for their academic (and overall) future, you want them to be as well-rounded as possible. Exposing them to and practicing their reading of different genres is critical for their success.
Nonfiction Promotes Growth
Were we to do the exact same things every single day, we would never grow. Our ideas and creativity would dwindle. When we try new things and challenge ourselves, we truly begin to thrive.
If your child currently avoids nonfiction like the plague and would much rather read “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” for the seventieth time, we don’t blame them! To be fair, there’s a ton of value in rereading books (and again, reading in general should be praised). But to only that is limiting the capacity for growth and new learning to take place.
Nonfiction Teaches New Things
Fiction is absolutely essential for teaching morals, storytelling, plot lines, character development, imagination, creativity, and so much more. Nonfiction, however, tends to reign supreme in the ability to truly dive into a topic. Even just reading Wikipedia pages can provide an insane amount of technical knowledge. Reading articles on how to build a model car are super informative, and fun to do! Nonfiction goes deep, and when written well, contains the same storytelling aspects that fiction does.
How Do I Get My Child Reading Nonfiction?
We’re glad you asked! In a future blog, we’ll cover some of the many ways that you can make this happen. Until then, look into enrollment with our private school to provide your child with the very best in a well-rounded, holistic education. We look forward to hearing from you!