How long should you read with your kids every day?

You may be wondering  How long should you read with your kids every day?  I am here to tell you why the magic number is reading 20 minutes a night or more.
how long should you read every day
There are so many things that I, as a teacher, wish that the parents of my students knew about reading with their kids.  Reading for 20 minutes a night is just one of them.

What does reading 20 minutes a night really mean?

It means that your kids are reading out loud to you.   If your kids are in Pre-school or Kindergarten, they are probably reading the small, repetitive books like “I went to the store.  Mommy went to the store.  Daddy went to the store.  We all had fun!”.



For this level, I would suggest reading each of those small books three times each.
– The first time you are reading to sound out the words and identify sight words.
– The second time you are reading for comprehension.
– The third time you are reading for fluency (to read at a faster rate.)

If you have not reached 20 minutes yet, this would be a great chance for YOU to read to your child.

For Your Older Children:

I let our son (second grade) read his chapter book to me for about 15-20 minutes.  He would prefer to read it silently, but he has to read it out loud because I can listen to him
-I can make sure that he doesn’t just skip over hard words.
-I can help him with his mistakes.
-When he is finished, I will ask him to tell me about the story (what happened, who were the characters).
-I also make sure to read a story to him every night.  Hearing me read aloud is also important.  

I know that time is tight.    I know that you are busy.    I know that your kids need to get to bed early.  

I know that they will ask you “Mommy, will you lay with me?” at the end of the day, and you’ll wonder if you have time.   You do.  I promise… you do.  It’s worth every second.  

I also know that if you skip out on reading nightly, your child will slowly fall behind.   Give your child the best advantage and read with them- twenty minutes a night.   

They will thank you … one day!  



  1. Kiro Been says:

    Hello, very nice article and it looks really fun. I have to try it with my son. What is the best age for the kids to start to learn reading?

  2. You should look up the science of reading and invest some time in reading about evidence based learning techniques. Fluency is much more than reading fast. Just because a child reads nightly doesn’t mean they will score high on standardize tests or be in the top reading group. We have to stop perpetuating these myths about how children learn to read.

  3. You are so right. Encouraging reading in kids is more than “getting all the words right”. My kids did really well when they were given practice time daily, but I am sure there are other ways for kids to learn to read well. I do think we give kids a better foundation for learning when they are competent readers, but that is just a foundation…

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