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“Helping Your Child Learn”

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Parent tips from the Utah Education Association

Reading and Writing – Practice Key to Reading Success
By Kathy Christiansen, sixth-grade reading, writing and social studies teacher at Cedar Ridge Middle School, Hyde Park, Utah

A study conducted by the Institute for Academic Excellence provides disturbing evidence that America’s children are not getting enough reading practice. According to the study, America’s students spend an average of only seven minutes per day reading (from Patterns of Reading Practice). It would be laughable if a piano teacher sent his students on stage for a concert after having scarcely practiced seven minutes a day. Yet, we are sending students into the world without having practiced the essential skill of reading. Studies also show that the most competent readers read 144 times as much as the least able. If a football player throws 144 passes a day and another player throws one, who will become the better football player?

Reading practice is essential to fostering better readers and more effective students. Students should read 20 to 30 minutes each day and be supervised, as needed, by an adult.