I don’t think I like reading anymore.

“It’s not too bad. She just has to read fifteen minutes every day, and I sign off on her reading log.”

My friend was introducing me to the horrors of elementary education, 2014 style. In my area – please tell me this is only in my area – students have to read fifteen minutes EVERY NIGHT, and document it.

Even in elementary school, I was an avid reader. I’m sure most book bloggers can say the same. Do you remember those Scholastic catalogs? My mother refused to let me buy any of their books because I needed to spend more time outside. My favorite Saturday tradition was going to the used bookstore with my dad. And I’d read my parents’ entire library by the time I was sixteen.

Yet it only took those nine words, “She just has to read fifteen minutes every day”, for my inner eight year old to come up with this:

Maybe I don’t want to read fifteen minutes a day.
Maybe I don’t like reading so much after all.

Besides that, I can’t imagine any way to make reading more tedious than doing it in fifteen minute chunks. I didn’t read the rulebook, but it sounded like you couldn’t do a 1 hr 45 minute reading binge on Saturday and take care of the whole week. Fifteen minutes per day, because someone said that was good for you, like broccoli.

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My friend didn’t disagree with my rant, but had a beautiful solution: “I have her read to her little sister. That way it’s fun, and everyone gets some book time.”

I have to know, readers: Do you — can you — read in fifteen minute chunks? And how does the idea of a daily requirement make you feel?

Photo courtesy thejbird via Flickr. license

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6 thoughts on “I don’t think I like reading anymore.

  1. Blech. I’m breaking out in hives just thinking about having my reading timed. It’s no wonder kids are freaking out about reading when the adults in their lives are pressuring for this weird, artificial reading-like thing. I was at the library and saw that they’re doing this thing where they photograph kindergarteners who read so may hours before starting 1st grade. Why? Why? Has reading become this forced thing like eating your green leafy veg? My inner 8-year-old is rebelling. πŸ™‚

  2. I worked in the school system with challenged and non readers. I found that the students (that I worked with) who read every day, be it at school or at home, improved their skills immensely. The students who did no reading at home, fell behind their classmates. Just find a way to make it fun for them, like reading to a sibling, or the dog or cat, or using a deep voice,or in the kitchen while mom cooks. Perhaps you and they can make up what comes next, even if the book is at the end.

    • everydayhas says:

      Thanks for the insight! I can definitely see where the program might help some kids – and I DEFINITELY believe in the value of reading. I just wonder if having a one size fits all program like this one doesn’t turn off as many kids as it helps. It certainly turned me off – but then, I’m pretty ornery! πŸ™‚

      • Well that is a true insight as well. One size never fits all. Do speak with your child’s teacher and tell her/him that it is turning your child off reading, That is the last thing you want to happen. Parents need to do what is the best thing for their child. Do try some other tactics first to see if another method will work, as daily reading is helpful. Thanks for your reply a well! Good luck to you and your child.

  3. I can understand the reasoning behind the daily requirement, but gosh, way to kill any kind of spontaneous fun when it comes to reading. I can read in 15 minutes chunks. Actually, my daily public transit commute gives me 20 minutes in the morning and 20 on the way home and now that it is light later I can read for 5-10 minutes while waiting for the bus on the way home. Such short chunks aren’t ideal but it’s better than nothing!

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