Throughout April, I’m tackling 26 A to Z topics related to children’s literature. We’re more than halfway through the alphabet. Today is all about O and reading out loud.
How do you typically spend 15 minutes?
Maybe you spend two sets of 15 minutes watching a sitcom on TV, or three sets of 15 minutes watching a drama on Netflix. Fifteen minutes can pass quickly while driving to a destination, or prepping dinner, or making a phone call.
But what about reading aloud to your children?
A YouGov survey of parents with children up to age 8 shows 46 percent of parents read out loud to their children every day, but only 34 percent said the reading sessions last 15 minutes or more. The nonprofit organization Read Aloud 15 Minutes is trying to boost those statistics to make lengthier family reading sessions the norm.
Experts list a variety of reasons why reading aloud is beneficial to young children, including:
- Language development
- Literacy skill building
- Brain development
- Transfer of knowledge
- Instilling a love of reading
The Read Aloud 15 Minutes organization touts some impressive numbers. Reading out loud for 15 minutes every day for five years would tally up to 27,375 minutes, or 456.25 hours. That’s a lot of hours to bond with children over a brain-boosting activity.
There are a lot of ways we spend 15 minutes a day. Making a goal to spend a quarter hour or more reading together with children is a positive priority to make at home.
Below is a video of Dr. John Hutton explaining more about reading and brain development.