In the town that I work in, many school children must read 20 minutes a day. For some kids I’m sure this is no big deal–perhaps they read an hour plus each day. For other kids, 20 minutes of reading is surely a challenge. Perhaps they don’t like reading, maybe they have lots of homework, maybe reading is extremely difficult. Still their teachers expect to see a reading log filled with daily 20 minute entries.
I am a creature of empathy. I got to thinking, “Do I read 20 minutes each day?” You may be surprised to know the answer is no. Some days I read much more than that, but some days I don’t read books at all. I like books, and reading–but I don’t always read a ton (yet I always have enough time for social media…). Knowing what the kids in my community are tasked with–I’m inspired to do more. 20 minutes of reading a day is nothing for a literate grown up who likes books (and has access to lots of them) . So I’m challenging myself to read at least 20 minutes a day.
Reading is a habit, a muscle. We can exercise reading or we can exercise other things (TV, Pinterest, Facebook). If you can find the time, I invite you set a reasonable daily goal for reading. Maybe that’s 5 minutes for you…maybe it’s an hour. Regardless, it will exercise your reading muscle AND it will set a great example for the kids in your life. Teachers assigning 20 minutes of reading will only go so far in growing readers. Seeing a grown up they respect read can make a huge difference in a child’s desire to pick up a book.