Reading is the most fundamental skill students will develop during their early years, and even throughout the rest of school up to and including college. At all levels, students perform the weakest on the reading sections of standardized tests, and reading consistently takes the most time and effort to improve if students slip behind. Weak readers are also weak writers, which can wreak havoc not only on grades but on college applications and all manner of other self-expression. So, how can you help your child avoid that pitfall? What is the right amount of time for students to read every day to keep their intellectual muscles strong?
Above and Beyond School
The key to keeping strong reading skills is to make sure students continue to read on their own after completing their reading assignments for school. Students often do not focus on good reading skills while reading for skill, especially when exercises encourage pulling specific details to answer a finite number of questions. This can lead to skimming and abandoning reading once all answers have been found. Students should be reading for at least an hour every day on their own apart from school assignments.
Quality as well as Quantity
While love and enjoyment of reading are important to foster, reading an hour of easy, pulp material every day will not strengthen students’ reading skills, either. Students should be reading challenging texts at least a grade level above their current place in school and if they are already advanced readers, a level above their ability. While it’s good to take breaks every now and again (no student needs to be reading Shakespeare or Dickens non-stop), the trend should be upwards every time.
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Tags: High School, Elementary School, Middle School, Secondary School, Primary School, Secondary Education, Primary Education, Reading, Writing, Literature, English, Humanities