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Reading children - successful pupils

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Balapan uyada ne korse, ushkanda sony iledi (a bird, having feathered, repeats what it has learned in a nest)

Folk wisdom

In former times, Aqsaqals have considered that starting to go, a child stands up and falls down as his legs are linked by an invisible rope. And in order the person doesn't stumble during his life but goes easy and straight it's necessary to cut the manacles. When my grandchild started to make first unaided steps, following the Kazakh traditions due to this event we organized a celebration "Tusau keser" (literally - "cutting of manacles").  

At first cowardly, then quite confidently, the baby walked along the white path covered for him. Different objects (money, keys, toys, candies, etc.) symbolizing the vital priorities were put in front of him. Out of all this abundance the grandchild confidently took a book and began to leaf it and watch the familiar pictures.

"Alikhan, may be we will pick money or keys?" - asked the father hopefully. But the baby was steady and did not even look to the side of other gifts.

"My goodness, he likes books, - I thought gladly, - means I have read bedtime fairy tales to the grandchild not in vain". Samuel Marshak very exactly determined the value of this literary genre in the life of children: "The fairy tale is a concentrate of different vitamins – like milk for the little ones. There are all nutrition elements in it. It teaches to speak, think, feel».

Understanding the significance of a book in the development of imagination as a basis of the creative work, the talented scientist Albert Einstein told: "If you want your children to be intelligent, read fairy tales to them. If you want them to be more intelligent, read more fairy tales to them».

In my view, children kind fairy tales played their role in the upbringing of a little listener of a book. Whether Alikhan will subsequently become a dedicated and thoughtful reader, or he will want to get new knowledges and search for the answers to questions, it depends on his mother and father, who should strengthen the baby's need in reading, continuing to read to him aloud as before.

Book is a main part of the intellectual human development and it has no equals on completeness of the content and perception effectiveness among other sources of information. There are entire volumes of statements of prominent people about reading. All of them recognize the role of a book and reading: in the extension of outlook, development of a thought, morality, self-cognition and many other things.

In order a child would love books before he will learn the alphabet, a reading parent should be beside him, much better if the parent will read with him. Family book reading enhances skills of a child in grammar and in general his academic progress on all subjects of the school. To confirm, I will provide the results of foreign and domestic researches.

If parents daily read book to children of 4-5 years old, they surpass their counterparts in the development for 12 months. If they read 3-5 times per week, even this may give them advantages to be ahead of their counterparts for 6 months ( University of Melbourne, 2012).

The child, the mother of whom does not participate or partly participates in his development during the first five years of his life, gets behind in the development of cognitive skills in comparison with his counterparts by 1,8% (Bernal, 2008).

Kazakhstan teachers adhere to the same opinion. They are worried by the fact that «some parents give the main attention to the child's dress and feed, but not to the creation of conditions for his development». Whereby, according to the data of a sociological research, children whose parents very actively trained them before they go to school (read, played, painted together, etc.) learned to read since 3-5 years. And these children showed in testing more successful results than their counterparts who mastered reading skills after 6 years (Information Analytic Center JSC, 2015)[1].

Kazakh researchers also note that the absence of a «reading» environment and bookish home environment negatively affects the level of reading literacy of children. 16% of participants of a survey believe that «reading is a waste of time», their children, in general,  successfully made 7,2% of tasks less than schoolers from reading families regarding the reading literacy  (62,6% and 69,8% respectively)[2].

According to the data of sociological questionary, 44,6% of parents spend on average up to 5 hours a week on reading for their pleasure. Only 20% of surveyed have a possibility to devote 2 times more time to this hobby. 20,4% of respondents may devote to the reading only 1 hour a week[3].

Kazakh schoolers whose parents dedicate more than 10 hours a week to leisure reading demonstrated a sufficiently high level of the reading literacy (73% of performance). Less successful results had pupils whose parents read only 1 hour a week (68%)[4].

31% of participants of a survey have noted that in the home library they have up to 10 books, 34,9% - 25 books. On average, one Kazakh family accounts 46 books, which is at 110 books less than on the average each family from OECD countries has. The difference in the fulfilment of tasks on reading by the pupils who have up to 10 books and up to 500 books at home equals to 12% (65,5% and 77,5% respectively)[5].

Foreign researchers found that the correlation between the number of books and abilities for reading becomes more significant with the age. The development of language skills of pupils in a senior school was at 30% conditioned by the presence of printed materials at home (Mol and Bus, 2011, quotation in Buckingham, 2013).

The examined results of researches testify that the ability to read, interest in reading are formed in the family. The talented teacher V. Sukhomlinskiy said: "The child is a mirror of the family, as the sun is reflected in the drop of water, so the father's and the mother's moral purity is reflected in children."

The schoolers, who have a habit to read since childhood, are able to listen and speak, discourse and analyze, critically assess a situation and take an independent decision, they have literate speech, excellent memory, rich imagination.

Dear parents, your child may also achieve such a progress! Do not lose a curious period of the child for his early inclusion to reading. Read yourselves, read together with children, and your efforts will pay off in spades. When managing children reading try to use the following practical recommendations.

  1. Do the process of reading a game, joyful event. Do not make reading a punishment.
  2. During reading activate the attention of a child. Let the child answer questions, watch illustrations.
  3. Do not refuse to read if a baby requests, despite your busyness.
  4. Organize family readings, discussion of what was read.
  5. Develop imagination of your child on the book material.
  6. Read to the children aloud not only during the preschool childhood, but even when he will become a schooler.
  7. One and a half - two years old child can concentrate on the book for 1-2 minutes, the older children read not more than 15-20 minutes.
  8. Do not always hurry to immediately answer child questions – advise him to look for the answers in books on his own.
  9. Cultivate a child's habit to consult dictionaries and work with them.
  10. Collect a home library. Replenish it together with a child. Attend the library together with a child.

The reading child is a successful pupil today and a successful personality tomorrow! The greatest happiness which parents can present to their children is to arouse their interest in reading!


  1. Assessment of the parents impact on the formation of functional literacy of schoolers. Analytical conclusion. - Astana: Information Analytic Center JSC, 2015. - 64 pages.
  2. Bernal, R. (2008) ‘The Effect of MaternaL Employment and Child Care on Children’s Cognitive Development’ International Economic Review, 49(4), 1173-1209.
  3. McKool, S. (2007) ‘Factors that Influence the Decision to Read: an Investigation of Fifth Grade Students’ Out-of-school Reading Habits’ Reading Improvement, 44(3), 111-131


Deputy Director, Department for PreSchool and Secondary Education