When my daughter Zara started kindergarten, she had already developed a love for books. She read just about anything you would expect a 5-year-old to care about, things like princesses, dogs and frogs.
We had a book that I particularly liked: It was the story of Old McDonald and his farm animals. Its pages were thick and colorful. Certain items, like
the dog’s ears or the cow’s bell, were highlighted with a mesmerizing glitter effect. She read out loud, and I listened.
I often wondered, why do we have to read 20 minutes at home every day? It was the teacher’s mandate.
Don’t get me wrong, I was not complaining. I was truly curious about the effect that 20 minutes could have in my child’s reading ability.
To be honest with you, I didn’t think that 20 minutes was long enough to make a difference. But my daughter’s teachers swore by it! We read consistently and kept a log, but I never asked the question why?
Instead of books about princesses and Old McDonald the farmer, now my 12-year-old daughter devours what she explains to me are “dystopian” novels.
A few weeks ago, I had a blast-from-the-past-kind of moment at work. A colleague shared with me a version of this infographic titled: “Why Read 20 Minutes at Home?” I was speechless and thankful at the same time. Speechless, because I didn’t realize back then what the compound effect of reading 20 minutes per day could be. Thankful, because even when I didn’t understand the why, we stuck with it.
As parents, we are often just told to do things. I believe that when we understand why we are doing them, we are more empowered to act.
Excited about my new understanding I shared this infographic with my kids, I even posted a copy of it on the fridge and said “this is why you should be reading 20 minutes at home every day.”
— Yezmin Thomas