20 Minutes

Monday, June 27, 2011 Aimee Larsen 5 Comments

A couple of days ago I posted "Oh The Irony!".  It was about how our kids are getting sick of reading and many of you offered creative ways to encourage the love of reading.  I've been doing a mini-experiment with my own child...

20 Minutes before bed

Each day for the last week  I have told my son, 20 minutes.  20 minutes of reading a book he thought looked like a good one.  I even purchased two new books to entice him a little.  The first day there was a bit of whining and alot of asking..."How much longer?"  As the next few days rolled on, his reluctant attitude turned.  He now stops what he's doing when I say "20 Minutes".  He grabs his book and finds a comfortable spot.  He still asks "How long has it been, Momma?"

I'd say it might just be working.  The thing I am looking for now is for him to stop asking about the time and to want to keep reading just a little more when time is up.  I'll just have to keep holding my breath, see. 

Have you tried any new strategies with your kiddos?


  1. That's similar to the first thing that worked for me too - I allowed my seven year old to stay up 'late' - really she was going up half an hour earlier but while little bro's light went out, she was allowed to stay up and read.  

  2. That book I was reading this morning addressed the stamina issue and helping the kids become "the authors of their own reading lives."  She talked about using a reading log to help kids make observations about how much they were reading, how long, how many pages, where they read most efficiently, etc. 

    She also cited some research indicating that kids needed to spend 2 hours a day reading TO MAINTAIN their current reading level.  Obviously, they would need to spend more than that if they were below grade level and were going to make progress.  In talking with my friend, she could cite practical examples of this from her 4th grade class.  Very interesting stuff!

  3. Interesting...my first thought was "2 hours!"  If that were the case I would be starting over by now.  Is she implying that they lose the ability to read?  I think requiring 2 hours would definitely result in "readicide".  What did you think about that when you read 2 hours?  Also, I think logging would take the fun out of it even if it did show growth.  Surely kids know if they read alot or a little each day.  I should ask Cooper if he'd want to log his reading and if he does, let him try it.

  4. That is just fabulous :) Way to go, mum.

  5. My son was a little reluctant to read at first also.  Too many other interesting things to do.  We read to them EVERY night and always have, just so they see reading happening all the time.  He eventually found Calvin and Hobbs and I was unimpressed!  I wanted him to READ....an actual book.  My husband in his great wisdom said "SHHH! (literally)! This will lead to interest in other books. It IS a book, let him enjoy the reading!"  After a while my hubby suggested getting a magazine rack for the bathroom and letting him put it there with hubby's boating magazine.  He made the suggestion to  my son that he could read while doing his business.  I swear this has GOT to be a guy thing, but the child is now getting in trouble for reading in the bathroom during rush hour!  (we only have one bathroom and four people need to get ready in the morning and at bedtime).  He reads practically NON STOP!  Not just Calvin and Hobbs either!  (Although he has read every Calvin and Hobbs published and every Garfield as well.  When I asked him why he said because it is easy to read and he can get a whole story in a short time frame.) He now reads huge chapter books which he then insists we read as a family for the bedtime stories.  And he has inspired his little sister to read endlessly too.  It started when he was 8 and now he is 12.  Both kids got e-readers for Christmas because I was tired of packing "72" books every time we went on a trip.  They are never without a book or their e-readers and it is a thrill every time we go out or travel and the first question is "Can we find a new book store"!  As for the 2 hour thing, I haven't heard of it but I could say that my kids easily average two hours a day reading.   I don't know if you want him reading in the bathroom or not but odd as it sounds, it worked for my little man!


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