Most of my blog posts are inspired by the work I do with my high school students. This post is inspired by my own children–ages 6 and 7. My children attend a Spanish immersion school, where they receive 90% of their instruction in Spanish. As part of their homework, they must read each day.
My daughter, who is in 2nd grade, is expected to read independently for 25 minutes a day in Spanish. She is an avid reader, who devours chapter books in both English and Spanish.
My son, who is in kindergarten, is just beginning to read. We do reading lessons at night, but I felt like he needed quiet time on his own to slowly sound out words and get comfortable reading without me looking over his shoulder.
So, we started family reading time!
It’s simple. Every night we all go into the living room with our books and read quietly for 30 minutes. It’s been amazing! The kids absolutely love it. They literally chant “family reading time” as they skip into the living room because they are so eager to read. The magic of family reading time is that we all do it together. My husband and I stop whatever we are doing and we all read. It’s becoming one of our many family traditions.
Not only does this make it easier for the kids to complete the required reading for homework, but it also sends the clear message that we, as a family unit, value reading. As an English teacher, it’s incredibly important for me to instill the love of reading in my children. I love these quiet moments together. I would encourage every family to try this!