I've read to my daughter (practically) every night of her life since I adopted her at age 18 months. Usually from 2-3 books a night. She can, at age 7 and in first grade, barely read.
Oh she can sound out words, etc. but she just doesn't "get it" yet. It takes her many minutes to read a book and sometimes will stumble over a word that she read just fine on a previous page.
So I'm not sure reading alone actually teaches a kid anything except to enjoy stories and books which she does. If I read them.
I'm sort of discouraged and sad that she isn't reading fluently or easily yet. According to the teacher she is "at grade level" which I guess means that 1st graders really aren't supposed to be very good readers--because she isn't. As a lifelong reader and bookworm, it is discouraging.
This is important because it is worth remembering that kids brains really develope at different rates and in in different areas. I think there is a common misconception that you force learning onto a child when it has to be fairly organic.
My examples are from much older. I am tutoring my 16 year old sister in math. I taught her over a year ago during her last math class. She has had over a year off with no math. She is much better than she was last time despite a complete break from math. Her brain just gets it now.
Another sister never really got school and barely finished high school. 10 years later she is taking university courses and doing very well. It was a bit of an extreme example, but her brain just needed some extra time to mature.
Very true. I don't think that a "love of reading" is necessary for most higher-education degrees. There are plenty of people who can read at a high level - but it just isn't a passion for them.
And that's one thing that I found when I was a part of a reading-recommendation committee for my kids' school, as a parent volunteer. Most of the elementary-school teachers were of the opinion that kids had to have a passion for reading, and for reading the classics (Dickens, etc.). Reading is great, but I'll admit that most of my kids' readings when they were in the early-adolescent years were either Goosebumps or Archie comics....
Yes, we read to them a lot when they were kids, but I don't think that it's an either-or situation. Plenty of kids with reading difficulties come from families with "reading atmospheres". You just never know. Early reading is not always a predictor of academic success. Many teachers will assert that the kids who read almost fluently in kindergarten are pretty much in the middle-ground once they get to about grade 4 or so.