Family Tip # 1: Read Every Day

Every child should read every day. It is a simple fact, supported by research: Exposure to reading is important in developing vocabulary for fluency and comprehension. Reading 20 minutes or more every day can have tremendous impact for your child. So set up a routine, make reading fun and make sure your child reads every day!

Why read 20 minutes at home?

Student A Reads… Student B Reads… Student C Reads…
20 minutes per day 5 minutes per day 1 minute per day
3,600 minutes per school year 900 minutes per school year 180 minutes per school year
If they start reading in year 1, by the end of year 7 the student will have read…
60 school days 12 school days 3 school days
* Nagy & Herman (1987)

Read to Your Child (at Any Age)

Regardless of the age of your child, reading aloud is an important ritual, even when your child knows how to read. Make reading a fun activity and learn some of the amazing benefits of reading to and with your child every day. Not only does reading to your child stimulate brain development and strengthen parent-child relationships, it can help build language, literacy and social-emotional skills that last a lifetime!

Top 10 reasons to read aloud to your child – at any age

Regardless of the age of your child, reading aloud is an important ritual, even when your child knows how to read. Here are some of the many reasons why:

  1. Children understand at a higher level than they can read. Learners can typically comprehend text that is 2 or more year levels above their independent reading level.
  2. Build vocabulary. The more words you use, the more words a child knows and can use. Children’s books have been shown to use more unique words than television, movies or other media. New words encountered in context are easier to define and understand.
  3. Improved achievement. Numerous studies show a direct correlation between reading to a child and academic success. Students who are read to have a higher aptitude for learning and more positive attitude about school.
  4. Develop a love of reading. Research shows that motivation, interest and engagement are enhanced when reading aloud. This can improve children’s attitudes about books and foster a love of reading.
  5. Help them be better writers. Children who listen to books being read over many years are more likely to develop competence in written and verbal communication skills.
  6. Help us talk about challenging issues. When you have to talk to your child about a difficult topic, books (both fiction and non-fiction) can be useful. For parents, a book can help lessen anxiety; for the child, a book can provide context and make it easier to ask questions.
  7. Broadens their horizons. When children pick their own books, they tend to pick the same type of texts (over and over). Children tend to be more open to new genres and themes when read to.
  8. Improve decision-making. When reading with your child, you have the opportunity to discuss topics and ideas that might not come up in the normal course of events. As children’s author Katherine Patterson said, “Books are a dress rehearsal for life.”
  9. Bonding time. Spending time reading with your child is an opportunity to get closer, both physically and emotionally. Even if you do not snuggle up, just being close to your child to share a book can foster deep bonding.
  10. Your child wants you to. 83% of children across all age groups say they love to be read to.

Family Reading Tips

Make reading a priority in your home. Check out our Top Tips for raising successful readers. It starts with only a few minutes a day!

Tips for Families to Create Successful Readers

Make Reading a Daily Routine

Research shows that reading to children every day is key to raising successful readers. Set a time every day; even ten to fifteen minutes is a great place to start. Add time as you can.

Choose a Quiet Time and Place

Set aside a quiet time with few to no distractions. Find a comfortable to place to sit together. Make reading a special activity for you and your child.

Help Your Child Select Books

Look for titles that are appropriate based on their interests and reading ability. Want some help in learning how to do this? Check out the Recommended books in the myON library.

Make Reading Interactive

Read using voices that are interesting and playful. Talk with your child and encourage them to make connections to their own experiences or real world. Allow time for you and your child to ask questions, make observations and enjoy the text.

Expand Language and Vocabulary

Encourage your child to point to pictures that match the words being read, as well as read aloud familiar words. Explain new words and direct your child’s attention to certain pictures, to provide details and meaning.

Build Reading Stamina

Reread familiar books with your child. Rereading provides a sense of satisfaction and success. Once your child is reading at a particular reading level, they need to read many books at that level, allowing them to practice and develop the ability to continue reading for longer periods of time.