15 minutes: There are advantages to reading to your child every day
Did you know that all it takes is 15 minutes a day of reading aloud to a child to give them a significant advantage over kids who have not been read to? I advocate for reading aloud to children. In today’s day and age, many parents are often too busy and too distracted to take the time to read to their children for even just 15 minutes a day. In Jim Trelease’s book The Read-Aloud Handbook, he presents many strong arguments for reading aloud to your children every day.
The Earlier the Better
You might be wondering, ‘when should I start reading to my child?’ The answer is the earlier the better! Studies have shown that children can benefit from being read aloud to while in the womb during the third trimester. Many parents do not think to read to the child before they are born; however, a good rule of thumb is if you are talking to your child, you should also be reading to them!
Read at Home
One reason parents don’t read to their children is that many parents think that reading is something that should be done at school. Their kids spend so much time at school, it almost feels like they are never home! That is, in fact, not the case. By the time kids have finished the eighth grade, they have spent over 10 times more hours at home than they have spent in school. Of all this time at home, just 15 minutes a day could help the child perform better in school!
15 Minutes a Day
Since every parent wants their child to do well in school, why wouldn’t you take just 15 minutes out of your day (or more) to read a good book to your child? Reading aloud to your child can help improve their test scores. A study conducted in 2001 showed that fourth-graders who were read to scored higher than their peers by an average of 35 points! Reading to your child sparks a love of reading in them. This love of reading will carry over when your child wants to read books on their own, and hopefully, they will want to read to their children someday.
Although sometimes you may just want to stick your child in front of the television, instead, stick them in front of a good book. All the time they waste watching television could be spent building their vocabularies and helping them succeed!
It’s Never Too Late
Overall, reading aloud to a child has an endless list of benefits to that child. Although print and reading may seem like lost arts in today’s digital age, it is never too late to start reading to a child. It is so important, in fact, that Jim Trelease felt the need to write a whole book about it, and I felt compelled to write this piece. So, I hope, in writing this, I have convinced at least one parent to pick up a book and read to a child today.
Note: Julianna E. Fitzpatrick is an Early Childhood Education and Psychology Major at Stonehill College, Class of ‘20.