Spring into reading and keep your child's reading learning continuing throughout the summer.
As March into Reading Month winds down, literacy-related celebrations can serve as a “kick-off” for a spring flooded with books and words. Research shows that children who take to reading early on are more likely to make it a pleasurable habit throughout their lives and experience later success in reading and writing, with a broader vocabulary and deeper knowledge about people and the world. Studies have shown that, on average, children who read more than twenty minutes per day scored above the 90th percentile on standardized reading tests, while children who read fewer than ten minutes per day scored below the 75th percentile. Further research suggests that simply adding an extra ten minutes of reading per day dramatically increases a child’s exposure to words which can boost overall reading achievement. That is, if your child goes from five minutes per day to fifteen minutes, she boosts her exposure to words by over 200% and joins children who, on average, scored above the 75th percentile (whereas kids who read fewer five minutes scored below the 50th percentile).
Getting kids hooked into reading now can prevent the drop-off that can occur over the summer months away from school. And the “getting hooked” part is key. While we know that incentive plans that reward kids with pizzas or certificates for reading a certain number of pages or books have value, and can certainly motivate reluctant readers, it’s important to note that personal motivations to read are the most lasting. And studies show that engaged readers regularly outperformed older, disengaged readers, regardless of age or socioeconomic factors. With this in mind, the following tips are designed to help you spark your child’s love of reading: