Growing up, I had a very difficult time with reading and writing. My mild dyslexia and difficulties with reading comprehension made picking up a book a dreadful chore. Thankfully, when I was starting to fall behind with my literacy skills, my dedicated mother and teachers challenged me to read at least 20 minutes a night. For 10-year-old me, I thought 20 minutes of reading was a steal compared to the hour I was doing before. However, you'd be surprised just how beneficial 20 minutes of reading a day was for me.
Starting in kindergarten, when a child is either read to or reads just 20 minutes a day at home, they will hear 1.8 million words per year.By the time they reach 6th grade they will have 851 hours of reading accomplished. That's amazing!
Not soon after my mother issued the challenge to read 20 minutes a day did I start wanting to read for longer periods of time on my own. There is no question that my daily 20-minute reading routine helped me not only catch up to my classmates, but helped me gain a love for reading and writing.
Studies from The Dubuque Campaign for Grade-Level Reading say that students who read 20 minutes a day will perform better on standardize tests than 90% of their classmates. They also claim that daily reading exposes children to a world outside of their own. It can provide them with new perspectives and opens their imaginative minds, helping them to learn to love reading.
At first, my parents believed that because I was falling behind I needed to do massive amounts of reading to catch up with my classmates. However, this just caused me to dread reading and I didn't have the endurance to focus on a page for so long. 20 minutes may not sound significant, but with small yet positive improvements come big achievements. Check out the image below as a recourse to see how just 1, 5, and 20 minutes of reading a day effects your child over time.
For more information on the benefits of every-day reading, visit: