Little Steps That Add Up: Literacy in the Home

A Fascinating Article
If daily reading begins in infancy, by the time the child is five years old, he or she has been fed roughly 900 hours of brain food!
Reduce that experience to just 30 minutes a week and the child’s hungry mind loses 770 hours of nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and stories.
A kindergarten student who has not been read aloud to could enter school with less than 60 hours of literacy nutrition. No teacher, no matter how talented, can make up for those lost hours of mental nourishment.
Therefore…
30 minutes daily: 900 hours
30 minutes weekly: 130 hours
Less than 30 minutes weekly: 60 hours
[Source: U.S. Dept. of Education, America Reads Challenge. (1999) “Start Early,Finish Strong: How to Help Every Child Become a Reader.” Washington,D.C.]

The Answer to the Question:
“Why Can’t I Skip My Twenty Minutes of Reading Tonight?
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 times each week.
Student A reads 20 min. x 5 times a week = 100 mins./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/school year
Student A reads 3600 min. in a school year.
Student B reads 720 min. in 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 school days. One would
expect the gap of information retained will have widened considerably and so, undoubtedly, will school performance. How do you think Student B will feel about him/herself as a student?
Some questions to ponder:
Which student would you expect to read better?
Which student would you expect to know more?
Which student would you expect to write better?
Which student would you expect to have a better vocabulary?
Which student would you expect to be more successful in school….and in life?