Kids are getting dumber, at least by traditional testing standards. Scores for just about all subjects have plummeted. And before you blame COVID, those trends began before the pandemic.
One possible cause for at least some of these declines: kids aren’t reading anymore. The same national report card that saw those big declines across academics also saw a big drop in the number of kids reading for fun.
All of which is a problem, since reading has long been associated with stronger test scores. Put simply, kids who read almost always far better academically than their non-reading counterparts.
Possible culprits behind this decline:
- The infestation of smartphones and other connected screens in the lives of even the youngest children
- Parents’s failure to read and set an example for their kids
- Shrinking attention spans – reading doesn’t satisfy the demand for instant gratification
What can parents do? In a word, read. Set the standard for your kids. Put down the phone or tablet, turn off the TV or computer, and pick up a book. No, don’t read on a digital device because it reinforces that same screen-first mindset.