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The Matthew Effect has been one of the concepts that support the thrusts of many educational institutions to develop children’s skills while they are young. The term is derived from a Bible verse (Matthew 25:29) which says,

“For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”

Simply stated, the message is that “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”

The Matthew Effect holds true when it comes to reading skills. This is why Instant Reader™ has made it one of its founding goals to help kids become early readers who are ready for lifelong learning.

Starting early is key.

Several studies agree that an early start is crucial for children to develop needed skills, especially reading. While kids begin by “learning to read”, they will later need to “read to learn”. A parent and educator would know that a child who struggles to read will face greater struggles since all other school subjects require reading skills. This results in a learning gap which could have been easily avoided if a child was helped early.

If there’s a gap, close it immediately.

The poor will get poorer, the Matthew Effect says. Thus, a poor reader cannot be expected to improve if he/she doesn’t receive a proper intervention. Also, an unclosed gap will be a widened gap eventually, so it is best to address it as soon as it is observed.  


Image from Phonicbooks™


Keith Stanovich, the pioneering research of the Matthew Effect, said, “Slow reading acquisition has cognitive, behavioral, and motivational consequences that slow the development of other cognitive skills and inhibit performance on many academic tasks.”

Start at home then get a support.

The positive message of the Matthew Effect is that the rich will get richer. To help your child get this advantage, it is best that teaching is begun at home then later supported by a school or a reading center that understands how children can effectively learn to read. Starting at home will also allow parents to detect any reading difficulty that might need some specialized or expert intervention.


Most often, it is the children with reading difficulties like dyslexia who suffer the negative side of the Matthew Effect. Does your child have difficulty reading? He doesn’t have to suffer anymore. Help your child now by visiting our nearest branch.