Education,  Parenting

Giving Your Child a Clear Advantage

Nightly Reading- why it should be made a priority

Consistently reading is the number one strategy for students to improve their ability, increase vocabulary, and have capability to score high on standardized tests. It also proves to introduce approximately 1.8 million words per year. This will positively impact vocabulary and communication. Many schools have done away with homework packets or written work and have encouraged 20 minutes of nightly reading instead. In many parent-teacher conferences, I often heard, “My child doesn’t have any homework,” when in fact nightly reading is the most important homework. The research that Nagy & Herman conducted in 1987 is still referred to in many presentations world-wide. Vocabulary acquisition from nightly reading clearly puts children at an advantage above their peers who do not read every night.

This image from Ms. Lesher’s blog clearly explains Nagy & Herman’s research.

If your child becomes easily frustrated with independent reading, try these strategies:

Read aloud.

Take turns reading.

Do not correct their pronunciation unless it is altering the meaning of the text.

Try not to finish a word for your child, they will become reliant on your help. If it happens too frequently, suggest an easier book, with less words on a page.

Allow your child to “read” the pictures, and you read the words.

Mix in some audio books.

For those fluent readers, chapter books are not mandatory: Comics/graphic novels, non-fiction, and even Alexa story time- try a variety of options to see what your child enjoys most. 

Reading Logs

If it is necessary to document homework and the 20 minutes of nightly reading, there are many great options on the web with ideas or freebies. Some children do much better with visuals, and some parents prefer incentives and accountability. Homeschool Giveaways has a variety of fun themes linked here.


Don’t let busy schedules get in the way. If night time is not an option, try to implement 20 minutes of quiet reading time in the car or after breakfast. 


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