Read More Usborne

Building literacy one children's book at a time…

Wow! That’s A LOT of Reading!

on June 21, 2011

I have been meaning to write about children needing 1,000 hours of “lap time” before they’re ready to read so it was sort of serendipitous to see Read Aloud Dad‘s recent blog about kids (and adults) needing 10,000 hours of practice to become the best of the best at anything – including reading.

Long before our kids can start logging those 10,000 hours of practice reading, they need to learn how to read and that’s where the 1,000 hours of lap time comes in.

The National Institute for Children’s Health and Development has said that young children need 1,000 hours of lap time before they will be ready to learn to read. So what counts as lap time? Reading books aloud counts, but so does talking, singing, rhyming and chanting.

Wow.

1,000 hours is difficult for me to get my head around.

So how about we break this down into manageable chunks…

  • If you are smart enough to start while your baby is just weeks or months old, your child will be ready to read (by kindergarten) with only about 1/2 hour of lap time every day.
  • If you wait until your child is 2 years old (about 3 years before kindergarten), you will have to play catch up and invest 1 hour every day.
  • If you wait until the year before kindergarten, you’ll need about 3 (yes, that’s THREE) hours of lap time every day for that entire year! Yikes!

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that parents who haven’t invested any lap time in their child for the first four years are probably not going to invest 3 hours per day in that magical year before kindergarten. Starts to shed some light on why some kids are so unprepared to learn when they enter school.

So back to Read Aloud Dad… If a child needs 10,000 hours to become a best of the best reader, that could mean

1 hour of reading per day for 27 years

2 hours per day for 14 years

3 hours per day for 9 years

Double WOW!

I think the message here is START TODAY! Read aloud to your children no matter how old they are. And be a fabulous role model – let them see you reading books, newspapers, magazines, and online content.

You say you’re already doing this? Good for you!

Could you be doing more?

Advertisements

3 responses to “Wow! That’s A LOT of Reading!

  1. Love this post and your sobering words.

    Thanks for taking the time to do the number crunching! And a specially big THANK YOU for the shout out!

    Indeed, we all face a serious challenge as parents to step up to the challenge TODAY.

    The odds are stacked up against kids, if parents do not read and ensure that kids can start logging those precious 1,000 hours of “lap time” and 10,000 hours of reading.

    It is a much bigger challenge that it may seem – on a daily basis – as we can see from your calculation.

    Good books are the key to help out kids and parents – and I love the fact that you are promoting Usborne books – one of the most child-friendly publishers in the world!

    Read Aloud Dad loves Usborne books – and that is no secret!
    ]
    Read Aloud Dad

    • Oh sorry! I didn’t mean for it to be sobering, but I suppose it is. Crunching those numbers (the engineer in me) gives me a little more sense of urgency…

      Thanks for all you do with your blog! Please keep it up.

      🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: