It is no surprise that children must have been feeling sluggish with their reading, writing, and creativity over the last couple of months since the worldwide pandemic began. The pandemic has led to long periods of isolation from social groups and is dominating everything and impacting everyone’s daily routine. Summer is considered the best time of the year to enjoy the bright outdoors and engage in fun activities with friends and family. However, this year, as we are confined to our homes to keep up with the social distancing norms, it can be quite challenging to keep the kids and teenagers engaged.
Joining an online reading group is one of the most ideal solutions to keep your children occupied. It is not just about reading a book along with a group of people but an experience to share one’s thoughts, views, and opinions on topics such as the theme, plot, character analysis, style of writing, and so on. It is about being heard and listening to people with different points of view- an indirect way of educating and learning about things that are beyond the scope of a classroom lesson.
Thus an online reading group can prove to be advantageous in more ways than one:
1.Gives the opportunity to network:
Reading a book of your favorite genre or author with a group of people who have similar interests can build a sense of belonging to a community and improve the networking ability of the child. This helps in developing communication skills and teaches them how to build and maintain good relationships.
2.Adds structure to their day:
Developing a daily habit of reading, analyzing, and engaging in meaningful conversations about various topics at a particular time of the day will help in setting a daily routine. It acts as an exercise for the brain and their involvement in such activities will make them value and appreciate their leisure time. This is because without the feeling of having done some ‘ productive work’ the child will not be able to appreciate and value his or her ‘playtime’ or ‘screen time.’
3. Helps in developing other skills and habits:
Reading can develop skills such as creative writing, the ability to write short and long essays, book reviews and even learning a new language. Kids can be given creative writing exercises to get their thinking caps on. Reading multiple genres will let them get an experience of different writing styles which could serve as an inspiration to those who love writing. When people read in groups, they are often divided into teams based on their reading preferences which can develop the skill of teamwork as well.
4.Reduces the stress of being stuck indoors:
The freedom to express one’s thoughts and ideas without the fear of being judged reduces the stress of holding up feelings and emotions. In a group, the child is free to express his likes and dislikes about the book. The conversations in an online reading group could lead to a healthy debate which gives the child a sense of authority and respect when he is being heard. Validation can boost the interest and help in de-stressing about being confined to his house.
5.Teaches the child to focus on the set goals:
Just like the curriculum of K12 education which has goals set for the students to complete during their schooling years through their lesson plans and course outlines, the mutual goals set by the online reading group will inculcate the habit of reading a book to finish within a given time frame. The idea of working towards one’s objectives and goals is a great lesson for their future and this teaching lesson can start right at home through the amazing virtual experience of a reading group.