# Why Read 20 Minutes a Day? ... It's Math!

4 years ago

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

- Dr. Seuss

As we're rounding out of March - National Reading Month - let's take a moment to celebrate reading, shall we?

At my first grader's curriculum night, her teacher passed out a fat packet, which noted the expectations and procedures for the school year. One guideline - set at most schools - was highlighted as well: Read with your child for at least 20 minutes a night.

On the last page was a printout as to why. Here it is:

Let's figure it out mathematically!

• Student A reads 20 minutes five nights of every week.
• Student B reads only 4 minutes a night…or not at all!

Step 1: Multiply minutes a night x 5 each week.

• Student A reads 20 minutes x 5 times a week = 100 mins. a week.
• Student B reads 4 minutes x 5 times a week = 20 minutes.

Step 2: Multiply minutes a week x 4 weeks each month.

• Student A reads 400 minutes a month.
• Student B reads 80 minutes a month.

Step 3: Multiply minutes a month x 9 months a school year.

• Student A reads 3600 minutes a school year.
• Student B reads 720 minutes a school year.

Student A practices reading the equivalent of ten whole school days a year.  Student B gets the equivalent of only two school days of reading practice.

By the end of 6th grade, if Student A and Student B maintain these same reading  habits, Student A will have read the equivalent of 60 whole school days.  Student B will have read the equivalent of only 12 days.

Isn't that wild? I was quite wowed.

With that, I'll share a few thoughts on reading:

• Read it again…read it again. How many times have you heard that? I've read Pete the Cat twenty-three times. And that was just last week. I've resorted to hiding The Best Nest once or twice, when I couldn't take another read. Yet as you tire of the repetitive stories, your kiddo is slowly memorizing the lines. The next stop is encouraging her to “read” the story to you, using what she’s memorized to retell it. Then before you know it, you've got a reader. And then that reader can read to her sibling(s), which brought tears to my eyes.

What's on your nightstand? I'm reading Gone Girl. It's chilling, but well-written, and oh so good.

Ciao for now.

P.S. Esme Codell, a CPS librarian, wrote an excellent resource on how to get your child to love reading.

Rudey

I write about stumbling into balancing roots and wings.

My driving force comes from my mom, who always said: "I gave you roots to guide you and wings so you can fly." I've built my life around that motto. My aim is to pass on to my daughters what my family secured in me.

I want us to slow down, grow roots, and build a solid foundation. I also want to strengthen our wings and soar.

It's a balance between holding on and letting go, between planning and being.

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