Many primary school teachers are concerned that there’s not enough reading happening at home. Often enough, a lack of reading leads to weak reading skills. Unfortunately, the buck doesn’t stop here. Research shows that both reading and writing skills work together. This means that a child with troubles in reading, will often be a weaker writer. On the flip side, the stronger the reader, the better the writer.
Studies show that reading 20 minutes a day at home makes for a healthy reading diet. While 20 minutes does not seem that long, it actually works out to 140 minutes of reading per week, or at least 9 hours of reading per month. Now, that’s a pretty sweet deal for a measly 20 minutes a day. Think bigger now. A five year old child who begins reading 20 minutes per day, will read over 600 hours by their 10th birthday! Not bad, right?
How To Encourage At Least 20 Minutes of Reading Per Day
#1. Set a specific place and time for your child to read. Be religious about this place and time for at least 21 days. Studies show that it takes only 21 days to form a new habit.
#2. Have reading material available at home that your child likes. Today, there’s no good reason why any home should be without books or access to books. Get in the habit of making trips to the library or bookstore. If you don’t want to make the trip then there are great options available online (we’ve listed some below). Ahem – no excuses!
#3. Make reading something your child looks forward to. Don’t force your opinions on their book selection. Let them explore their own interests. If the book is too junior or mature for them, it’s fine to step in. However, if they want to pick up a Batman comic or another version of Cinderella, it’s okay. The point is to get them reading and enjoy the experience.
Online Reading Resources
1. EPIC (for iOS devices; app available in iTunes). EPIC is the first all-you-can-read eBook subscription service with thousands of high-quality books from well known publishers like HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, National Geographic and others. It’s like Netflix but with books instead of movies and TV shows. We highly recommend EPIC and it’s a definite favourite among kids too.
2. The Overdrive app (for iOS, Android, Chromebook, Mac OS, Windows, and Windows Phone) allows you to connect to your local library using your library card. You can borrow eBooks for free!