20 Minutes at Bedtime, Read To Your Child

Reading 20 minutes at bedtime is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your child is ready to start growing to their full potential. Over forty percent of children enter kindergarten lacking the skills needed for a successful learning experience. Once a child realizes they are not up to speed with their peers it can be a real challenge to keep them encouraged and willing to work to catch up. The benefits of reading to and with your child are enormous and can be accomplished in only 20 minutes each day. Carving out 20 minutes of reading during bedtime will impact your child for their entire life.
Why Read Aloud?

  • “The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading, is reading aloud to children—even when they are very young.” On Becoming a Nation of Readers: The Report on the Commission on Reading
  • Reading aloud to children helps develop: Speech patterns, Pronunciation, Vocabulary, Listening skills, Comprehension
  • Research has shown that the early experiences of a child’s life can have a dramatic effect on the development of that child.
  • Children who were spoken to more often averaged 131 more words at 20 months than the children not spoken to as often. Newsweek Special Issue, Spring/Summer 1997
  • By age two, a child’s brain contains twice as many synapses and consumes twice as much energy as a brain of a normal adult. Time Special Report, February 3, 1997
  • Children who don’t play much or are rarely touched develop brains 20% to 30% smaller than normal for their age. Time Special Report, February 3, 1997
  • By the age of 3, a child who is neglected or abused bears marks that, if not indelible, are exceedingly difficult to erase. Time Special Report, February 3, 1997
  • When a child is born, the brain is full of neurons that are untouched and pure, with lots of potential. If these neurons are used they become integrated into the circuitry of the brain. Newsweek magazine
  • The single most important thing you can do to help your child become a successful reader is to read aloud as early as possible and as often as possible.

Suggested Readings and Links:

  1. The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease (
  2. Reasons to Red Aloud to Children (
  3. Read & Write It Out Loud: Guided Oral Literacy Strategies by Keith Polette

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