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 other stories.
An infant pupil 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
Now you understand why reading is so important. Here are some ideas:
» Have family reading nights
» Reading before computer games because “B” for books comes before “C” for computer in the alphabet.
» Have your child read to you while you are cooking.
» Have your child read to you while you are doing the dishes after a meal.
» It is great to turn off the television for 20 – 30 minutes and read, then share what you learned.
» ..Read the same book as your child and then discuss what happened and how you were feeling as you experienced the story.
» Have your child notice signs at the shops or while walking to and from school.
» Have a an older brother or sister read to a younger brother or sister, a family pet or their favourite stuffed toy animal.
» Always read to your child before giving your child a good night kiss.
There are so many ways to squeeze 20 minutes in a busy day. Whatever you do, squeeze them in – it is vital for your child’s success!
A research review: the importance of families and the home environment By Angelica Bonci