A new survey has revealed that many children are starting school without ever having been read a story by their parents or carers.
The Guardian reports that more than half of primary teachers have seen at least one child who started school never having been read to.
However, it will come as no surprise that many pupils did know some stories - from Disney cartoons.
There are fears that these kids are at risk of being left behind at school, affecting the rest of their lives.
Pie Corbett, an educational adviser to the government, told the Guardian that too many children are being left to watch TV instead of being read a bedtime story. Well, when CBeebies' Bedtime Hour will do the job for you, why bother?
Corbett says middle-class parents are just as guilty of this as working-class parents.
"This isn't just an economic thing – it's not just people who come from poor backgrounds, it's across the whole of society," Corbett told the Guardian.
"You get a lot of children coming from very privileged backgrounds who've spent a lot of time in front of the TV and not enough time snuggled up with a good book. The TV does the imagining for you – and it doesn't care whether you're listening or not."
Children's language skills and imagination are developed and improved by being told stories.
Corbett told the Guardian: "Children who are told stories are the ones who first form abstract concepts across the curriculum – in other words, being read to makes you brainy.
"The best writers in the class are always those who are avid readers."
The Guardian reports that one teacher responding to the survey said: "Where are all the parents who sing and recite nursery rhymes to their children? We have created a generation who are failing to give their children the phonological start they need to become a capable reader."
Another said: "There are children who have had very few stories read to them and I notice that now many do not know the traditional fairy tales – beyond Walt Disney cartoons that is."
It's a crying shame that children are missing out like this. It doesn't take long to read a bedtime story.
Do you read to your children?
Source: The Guardian
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