Professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, Daniel Willingham, authors Raising Kids Who Read. In his book he describes three variables which have influence over whether someone becomes a lifelong reader:
1. Children need to be "fluent decoders", which is the ability to transition between print on a page to words in the mind. Parents can enhance this skill be reading with and to their children.
2. Children also benefit from having a wide-ranging background knowledge about the world. "The main predictor of whether a child or an adult understands a text is how much they already know about the topic".
3. Last, children must have motivation to read or a positive towards reading and a positive self-image as a reader.
We believe these variables are of the utmost importance and can be incorporated into our daily lives without too much effort. Reading to our children at any age is vital. We should read long stories or virtually anything to our newborns and even as our children progress through elementary school, they can always benefit by being read to by a parent or guardian.