Now that school is letting out for the summer, it’s even more crucial to keep up your child’s reading momentum. In addition to the recommendations we posted last month of great children’s books to read, we’re adding these extra tips as part of your summer reading guide.
“Just a few more minutes!”
If you’ve ever heard your student say this, that child may know something you don’t. As it turns out, 6 minutes can make the difference between whether your student is struggling, getting by, or excelling.
In the last three decades, rates on reading have dropped anywhere from 10% in young children to 35% in near-college level students. Over half of nearly 10 million students observed in a study on reading time allotment were found to read less than 15 minutes per day. It seems that the “magic number” of 15 made an enormous difference. Students reading at this level were more likely to make gains that were above the national average. Likewise, similar gains were also seen in international assessments. Students reading for this length of time also acquired a higher vocabulary than peers who read below this “magic 15”. Best of all, reading time trumped socioeconomic factors, helping to level the playing field for disadvantaged students.
“Wait, what about those extra 6 minutes?”
Reading practice (for fun as well as educational/work purposes) becomes more important as you get older, and not less. Another study found that third-graders and sixth-graders who went from 14.6 minutes to 20 minutes had a higher rate of reaching benchmarks for college- and career-level readiness. Imagine that!
Taking the Time:
Some Other Tips to Get Students Excited About Reading This Summer
Back in March, we posted some great tips for keeping students reading over Spring Break. In addition, here are just a couple more tips to help students achieve their goals, even when they aren’t in school.
Escape from everyday pressures
One of the best things about reading is the opportunity it gives us to take a break from our everyday lives. It’s a stress reliever, and students need that just as badly as adults. More than that, popping open a book let’s you escape to another world, and examine problems that aren’t your own. This makes us more creative, and it increases our capacity for problem-solving in our own lives.
Drop everything and read
Setting aside a time each day for your student(and your whole family) to put down whatever is going on in life and read is a great habit to instill in your student. Setting aside that time for reading let’s the child know that it’s important. It also instills healthy routines, which is vital for childhood development, as well as success later in life.
Considering that strong readers are more than three times likely to enroll in college than their struggling and average-level peers, reading is more important than ever for our students. So, what do you say if your student wants more reading time?:
“Yes, let’s read for a few more minutes.”