Reading At Home

Reading At Home

Recently a parent asked about the importance of reading at home, since their child already reads so much at school.  This is a good question.  How much reading is enough reading?

When the May/June 2017 Issue of Literacy Today came out, I was reminded of the parent’s question.  Annie Ward’s article “Three components to Reading Success” and Clare Maloney’s article “Valuing Their Choices”, both reiterated what I shared with the parent. Reading at home is important.  To become a good reader students need to read extensively.  This is not dissimilar from other activities such as sports, music, dance, and art.  If students are to improve in reading or extracurricular activates, they need to practice, practice, practice.

Reading practice involves independent reading, both in school and at home.  Research has revealed that good readers are voracious readers.  However, challenges, such as, competing activities and reluctant readers prevent students from engaging in extensive reading.

Summer is an excellent time to address these challenges. Ward (2017) emphasizes reading over the summer is critical.  Students who read regularly and broadly over the summer increase their reading skills, and students who do not engage in the habit of summer reading lose skills.  Furthermore, Donalyn Miller’s book Reading in the Wild, states that reading daily for thirty-minutes is necessary for students to be proficient readers.  The number of days or the amount of time-spent reading is not about logging the time; it is about developing the habit of reading.  Regular reading helps to create a love of reading, grows a child’s vocabulary, and builds reading stamina.

So, now is the time to allow your child to read whatever interests them.  Encourage reading by providing them books at their reading level, so reading is fun and not a struggle.  Also, set aside quiet time every day for reading, so your child can benefit from the habit. Make sure your child has access to a wide variety of reading material. Informational, mystery, biography, realistic fiction, and historical fiction are a few genres to explore.  Magazines, comics, and graphic novels are also fun additions to increase variety and interest.  Maloney writes, “A major key to fostering a love of reading is choices” (2017, p. 12). With all this in mind, you can create an environment that is inviting and brings a sense of fun to reading this summer.


     Below is a list of some places to find a variety of quality reading books:

Compilation of Children’s Choices, Young Adults’ Choices, and Teachers’ Choices Reading Lists:

Caldecott Medal Winners and Honor Books:

Newberry Medal and Honor Books:

Guys Read:

Reading Rockets Children’s Books and Authors:

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center Book Dragon:

Cynthia Leitch Smith:

Cooperative Children’s Book Center(CCBC) School of Education University of Wisconsin-Madison

50 Multicultural Books Every Child Should Know:

30 Multicultural Books Every Teen Should Know:

Have fun reading!


Layne, S.L. (2009).  Igniting a passion for reading.  Portland, ME: Stenhouse.

Maloney, C. (2017).  Valuing their choices.  International Literacy Association Literacy Today, 34(6), 12-13.

Miller, D. (2014).  Reading in the wild.  San Francisco, CA: Josey-Bass.

Ward, A. ( 2017).  Three components to reading success.  International Literacy Association Literacy Today, 34(6), 10-11.