It's widely known that reading is one of the major predictors of success in children. Not only does it facilitate academic (and later career) achievement, it's also one of those simple pleasures that host a wide range of benefits, such as creativity and relaxation. At the age of 6, most children are just beginning to learn to read, and it is normal for them to progress at different rates. However, parents may wonder how much their child should be reading at this age to ensure that they are on track and developing good reading habits.
It is important to note that every child is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. However, there are some general guidelines that can help parents ensure that their child is developing the necessary skills to become a proficient reader.
- Create a positive reading environment - It is essential to create a positive reading environment at home. This means having books readily available, reading aloud to your child, and encouraging them to read independently. Children who grow up in a home where reading is valued are more likely to develop a love of reading, which can lead to lifelong learning and success.
- Aim for 20 minutes a day - As for how much a 6-year-old should be reading, it is recommended that they read for at least 20 minutes a day. This may not sound like a lot, but it can make a significant difference in their reading development. The 20 minutes can be broken up into smaller sessions throughout the day, such as 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes before bed.
- Discuss stories to build comprehension skills - It is also important to note that reading is not just about decoding words on a page. Children need to develop comprehension skills, which means understanding what they are reading. Therefore, parents should encourage their child to talk about the books they are reading, ask questions, and make connections to their own experiences.
- Select the right books - When it comes to selecting books for a 6-year-old, it is important to choose books that are appropriate for their reading level and interests. Children who are just beginning to read may benefit from books with simple sentences and repetitive words. As they become more proficient readers, they can progress to books with more complex vocabulary and longer sentences. Of course, if you are reading to them, feel free to choose stories that are a bit more sophisticated than, "See the dog run." You want them to be excited about reading, after all!
- Keep it fun - Finally, it is important to remember that reading should be fun! If a child is not enjoying reading, it can become a chore, and they may be less likely to continue reading as they grow older. Parents can make reading fun by choosing books that their child is interested in, incorporating reading into everyday activities, and celebrating their child's reading accomplishments. Make plenty of trips to the library and don't forget to let them see you reading for fun, yourself!