How often should I read to my child?

Posted on August 27, 2012 by My Imagination Kingdom | 0 comments

‘If parents understood the huge educational benefits and intense happiness brought about by reading aloud to their children, and if every parent – and every adult caring for a child – read aloud a minimum of three stories a day to the children in their lives, we could probably wipe out illiteracy within one generation.’

Credit: Mem Fox, author of beloved children's books like "Possum Magic" and "Where is the Green Sheep" 

Mem Fox says that when children spend 15 minutes each day reading or being read to, it will help them become excellent readers, writers and thinkers. This reading experience helps them do well at school and beyond.  If you think about it, 15 minutes isn't a long time. That's probably the amount of time (or a fraction of what) you spend on Facebook everyday. 


Having said that, there's no generally recommended guidelines on how often or for how long you should be reading to your child. It does depend on the nature and temperament of each child. Some may get easily distracted so just getting them to stay still for 5 minutes could be a challenge. Others could enjoy the experience of being read to so much that they will ask you for it on their own initiative.


However, as with all habits, it is good to make it an everyday event. Just like brushing your teeth or taking a bath, once you get it into your child's head that this is something your family practises as a daily habit, they are more likely to continue with this habit when they grow older. And, it becomes easier for you, as a parent to work this into your daily routine as well. Once you and your partner have established that reading aloud to your child/children is a habit you would both like to work on, you can then make a conscientious effort to make it happen. Rather than telling yourself, "I'll read to them if I'm not too busy tonight", setting it as a habit becomes a commitment that you would feel responsible for. 


And as we have mentioned in our earlier posts, every little bit helps. Even if it's for just a few minutes every day! 

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