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Benefits of studying with your dog

Having a dog accompany a child while reading can actually be a good choice. For families with children, the child is the most important treasure. Therefore, when making various major decisions, the impact on the child is taken into consideration. Some parents may have a concern, about whether raising a dog will affect their child’s learning.

Of course, such concerns are understandable. Dogs are not a factor that hinders children from reading; on the contrary, they can promote children’s reading. According to a study by Columbia University, our four-legged friends may actually encourage children to read.

To prove the positive impact of dogs on children’s reading processes, the research team selected some students in grades one to three from a school and a dozen different breeds of dogs, from large Bernese Mountain Dogs to small Yorkshire Terriers, for comparative observation. First, they observed the children’s reading situation without the company of dogs. Then, they observed the change in the children’s reading conditions when accompanied by dogs.

To ensure that there were no errors in the observations, the researchers conducted reading ability tests for each child before the observations. They then selected books that were slightly more difficult than the children’s reading abilities but still of moderate difficulty for them to read. They wanted to see if children, with the company of dogs, could overcome anxiety and restlessness and read books that were somewhat challenging for them.

While reading, children need to complete some reading tasks, including reading aloud and choosing whether to continue reading the second part. The results were quite pleasing. Regardless of the breed of dog accompanying the children, they significantly increased the time they spent reading.

If this sounds a bit vague, the use of data may make it more apparent. Without dogs, only 40% of children were willing to continue reading the second part. With the company of dogs, this proportion increased to 70%.

Although the results show that dogs can increase children’s interest in reading, how is this effect produced? After inquiring about the children’s reading experiences, they all expressed that when there was a dog present, they felt more patient and believed that their reading ability had significantly improved.

Based on the children’s feedback, the presence of dogs effectively alleviated the anxiety they felt when faced with difficult texts. Without anxiety, children can have more patience to try to interpret these texts, resulting in an increased enthusiasm for reading.

If parents want to improve their child’s reading quality and make reading more enjoyable, they can consider finding a dog to accompany their child in reading. However, the prerequisite is that the dog has received training; otherwise, if the dog keeps playing with its young owner, it can really affect the child’s learning.

Author: Sim K


Sim K


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