Should My Child Be Reading Every Night? (click on this title to read more)
Yes! (How much should they be reading and why is it important for them to read daily?)
Independent reading is sustained (reading without stopping) reading for information or for pleasure. You are familiar with the many kinds of reading your child may enjoy on their own such as a favorite novel, an exciting mystery story, the newspaper, the latest sport magazine or even comic books. You may not be aware, however, that independent silent reading is ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT activities for the reading development of students of all ages. Research shows that students who do a lot of reading ‘on their own’ become better readers because independent reading:
- Enhances their reading comprehension
- Provides them with a wide range of background knowledge
- Accounts for one-third or more of their vocabulary growth and
- Promotes reading as a lifelong activity
Alarmingly, while independent reading is so important to reading growth, studies show that many students do not read on their own at all. In fact, some students think that reading is something that is done only with school textbooks or at school.
You can help your child begin to see independent reading as an important activity by requiring him/her 20-30 minutes per day for independent reading. This reading time should be completely uninterrupted (NO stopping to select another book, get a snack, use the bathroom, etc.) Your child should have a quiet place to read and they should be reading from a book that is JUST RIGHT for them.
Read it again! Reading a book again improves both reading fluency and comprehension. It is perfectly all right for them to reread their favorite books; they can derive great pleasure and gain new insights from rereading “oldies but goodies.”