Is your child a reluctant reader? Consider Sustained Silent Reading (SSR).
The process is simple:
- set aside 15-20 minutes a day for everyone in the family to read
- allow children to choose their reading material
- set a schedule and stick to it
What are the benefits?
- Kids read books that they enjoy
- Kids see that adults value reading too; they are less likely to feel that adults are hypocrites for telling them to read
“In 38 of 41 studies, students given free voluntary reading (FVR) time did as well as or better in reading comprehension tests than students given traditional skill-based reading instruction.
“Reading as a leisure activity is the best predictor of comprehension, vocabulary, and reading speed. Kids who do the most recreational reading become the best readers.”
—Kelly Gallagher, Readicide, p. 42
I myself used this program with a set of high school seniors. I set aside 15 minutes each school day for them to read books of their choice. While space prevents me from going into detail here, the program was a success. Many of the students started reading more at home. One student even improved in his Physics class—because he could finally understand the textbook. All of them agreed that the 15 minutes of reading was time well spent.
Sometimes people claim that SSR “doesn’t work.” By this, they mean that the program they tried did not boost reading interest or reading ability. In Readicide, Kelly Gallagher points out that when SSR doesn’t work, it’s for one or more of the following reasons:
- The kids were not allowed to choose their own books.
- The kids were allowed to do homework instead of read.
- The teacher did not participate in the SSR with the kids
Start SSR with your child today. It will be the best investment in reading ability—and test-prep—you ever make.
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