Dear Mr. Dad: I’ve always made it a point to read to my 10-year old son, who just finished fourth grade. I know that reading to little kids is important because it helps them build their vocabulary and more. But at this point, he’s a strong reader with a big vocabulary. Is it really necessary to read to him anymore?
A: Absolutely. Reading to your child is just as important as it ever was. In fact, it might even be more important now. More than 40 percent of children ages 5-8 are high-frequency readers, meaning they read for fun every day. As low as that number is, it gets worse. Starting at about age nine or ten (the end of fourth grade—just where you are), the percentage of high-frequency readers drops off sharply, to 29. That’s also the time when most parents stop reading to their kids.