While it is true that all reading is good, it is not true that all reading is equal. Reading online will help them become experts at decoding small pieces of information. It will not help them to develop critical skills needed to analyze large bits of information. Information such as essays and reports that all prospective employers like to see in the hiring process.
Kids can become distracted fairly easily from jumping around from email to a website to social networks. The kind of reading that is needed to develop one's imagination, analysis skills and make references can only happen when they sit down and read a book.
When they sit down and read a book, they are developing what the experts call "deep" reading. You may now be asking yourself, what is deep reading? These are the skills your child will develop from reading a book. A few of the skills that they will be developing are concentration, critical thinking, comprehension, executive function and perseverance. Now lets briefly discover what these skills will mean to your child.
1. Concentration: A book will not be finished in one day so they will need to concentrate to remember the characters and story.
2. Critical Thinking: Without even realizing it, your child is asking themselves questions about what is being said in the book.
3. Comprehension: You child is building their knowledge base every time that they read.
4. Executive Function: Your child must focus so they can remember, organize and understand their thoughts.
5. Perseverance: Books are not about immediate satisfaction, they must keep going to reach the end.
In conclusion, while all reading is good, there is no substitute for picking up a book and reading it. This in no way means to keep them off the computer. They are learning valuable skills there also, but be sure to make time for your child to sit down and read a book.