Just 20 Minutes

Just 20 minutes of reading Montessori Method Blog Grumble Services Blog elementary Montessori materials and learning resources

Just 20 Minutes of Daily Reading
is such an important part of each and every day!

Today’s world has sped up dramatically. It sometimes feels as if time is even moving faster. Consequently, it is difficult for many of us to slow down, pause and reflect on our days. As a result, it feels as if some very important daily habits are getting overlooked.

When I was a child, my father read to me and my brother each night before bed. No matter what happened during the day, he made sure we would eat dinner together at the table and end the evening with an interesting book.

As we got older, he would sit alongside me while I did assigned readings for school. He devoted himself to the daily reading of our local newspaper. To this day, he still can’t let go of his printed newspaper. Although now it is limited to the Sunday edition only.

Reading just 20 minutes a day can make a huge Impact! Focused, challenging reading is so important for everyone (big and small) to do each and every day. Current research supports reading from a printed book format can help even more. A printed book seems to offer higher levels of comprehension and retention than reading text from a computerized screen:

“When reading long, linear, continuous texts over multiple pages that require a certain amount of concentration, referred to as “Deep Reading,” the reader often experiences better concentration and a greater overview when reading from a printed medium compared to a screen.

Maria Gilje

This is compelling data on the benefits of encouraging your child to read just 20 minutes (only 1,200 Seconds) a day!

SCREEN TIME: T0 Be or Not To Be

Screen time is an unavoidable reality of modern childhood. Children of every age are spending hours upon hours in front of tablets, smartphones and televisions. Technology pervades our culture and continues to be encouraged at younger and younger ages. 

To make matters more complicated, the trend toward virtual classes and appointments has increased screen time more now than ever before. It’s no longer an option for parents to enforce strict rules at home about screens.

Virtual this, google that, many teachers and caregivers have thrown up their hands in defeat. But, don’t give up! Continue to reduce your child’s screen time at home whenever possible.

Instead, encourage them to pick up a printed book, to play outdoors and to spend more facetime with friends and siblings. Screens in my classroom are limited to a tool for learning only. Using a print medium is always preferred.

We were all asked to call a truce with screens.  But remember, that agreement is only temporary. In the 2017 article, Do we read differently on paper than on a screen? Maria Gilje Torheim wrote:

“An interesting finding in some of the empirical studies is that we tend to overestimate our own reading comprehension when we read on screen compared to on paper.

Some studies have shown that we believe we have understood the text better, when we read from a screen. However, it has been found that we tend to read faster on screen and consequently understand less compared to when reading from paper.”

Please, spend a few minutes each day discussing reading with your child

Discuss what you have both read during that day. You may even want to spend some time reading together each evening with your child. They are never too old! Modeling the behaviors we want to see in our children leads them to creating the best habits. Just 20 minutes a day makes all the difference.

It has been shown that consistent and daily reading and comprehension exercises, especially when assisted by an adult, have a significant impact on individual academic progress. Researchers now believe the single biggest predictor of high academic achievement and high ACT scores is reading to children:

“The single biggest predictor of high academic achievement and high ACT scores is reading to children. Not flash cards, not workbooks, not fancy preschools, not blinking toys or computers, but mom or dad taking the time every day or night to sit and read them wonderful books.”

What Should A 4-Year-Old Know? Alicia Bayer wrote:

There are recent, strong findings supporting this assertion. For instance, starting around kindergarten age, it is estimated that if a student reads a minimum of 20 minutes a day at home, they will hear 1.8 million words per year. By 6th grade, this means they will have read for 851 hours and on standardized tests they will likely score better than 90% of their peers.

The research is compelling. I’m certain each and every one of us can find just 20 minutes daily to spare. This is a habit worth keeping!

Do you have more suggestions for encouraging children to read just 20 minutes a day? Do you have a suggestion for another blog topic? Please send me an email with your ideas and experiences at grumble.services@gmail.com.

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Read More: Comprehension Thinking Strategies
How do We help older students become better readers?

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References and Read More:

Reading Help – Just 20 Minutes a Day! – Learning Guide

How Reading 20 Minutes A Day Impacts Your Child By Scripps Media, Inc. 2017