Why Your Child Should Read for 20 minutes Every Day
“Why can’t I skip my 20 minutes of reading tonight?”
Let’s figure it out – mathematically!
Student A reads 20 minutes five nights of every week;
Student B reads only 4 minutes a night… or not at all!
Step 1: Multiply minutes a night x 5 times each week.
Student A reads 20 minutes x 5 times a week = 100 minutes/week.
Student B reads 4 minutes x 5 times a week = 20 minutes/week.
Step 2: Multiply minutes a week x 4 weeks each month.
Student A reads 400 minutes a month.
Student B reads 80 minutes a month.
Step 3: Multiply minutes a month x 9 months/school year.
Student A reads 3600 minutes in a school year.
Student B reads 720 minutes in a school year.
Student A practices reading the equivalent of 10 whole school days a year.
Student B gets the equivalent of 2 school days of reading practice.
By the end of 6th grade, if Student A and Student B maintain these same reading habits,
• Student A will have read the equivalent of 60 whole school days.
• Student B will have read the equivalent of only 12 school days.
Some questions to ponder:
Which student would you expect to read better?
Which student would you expect to know more?
Which student would you expect to write better?
Which student would you expect to have a better vocabulary?
Which student would you expect to be more successful in school… and in life?
Why read 30 minutes a day?
*If daily reading begins in infancy, by the time the child is five years old, he or she has been fed roughly 900 hours of brain food!
*Reduce that experience to just 30 minutes a week, and the child’s hungry mind loses 770 hours of nursery rhymes, fairy tales and stories.
*A kindergarten student who has not been read aloud to could enter school with less than 60 hours of literacy nutrition. No teacher, no matter how talented, can make up for those lost hours of mental nourishment.
Therefore… 30 minutes daily = 900 hours
30 minutes weekly = 130 hours
Less than 30 minutes weekly = 60 hours
I guess you now understand why reading daily is so very important. Why not have family night reading? It is great to just shut off the television for 20-30 minutes and read… and share.
(Source: U.S Dept. of Education, America Reads Challenge. (1999) “Start Early, Finish Strong: How to Help Every Child Become a Reader.” Washington, D.C.)