Research shows that the more pages a student reads each day, the more likely it is that the student will do well on reading tests at school. Some students will breeze through pages while others will snail-read. What is important is that they keep reading. Eventually, the slow reader will read faster if the reading level is appropriate and the genre alluring.
If you are not sure how much reading your child is doing daily, you might start a chart on which the child logs in the number of pages read after every reading session. Over several weeks a pattern will emerge, so that you can assess how many pages your child is reading daily. This can be helpful to get an accurate understanding of your child’s reading. Sometimes the numbers tell a different story from what we assume.
How many pages are enough? How many are too little?
Since books vary in the number of words per page, these are questions without solid answers. But there is a way to find out if your child’s reading is improving.
- Look up the Accelerated Reader level of the books your child is bringing home from the school media center. Often books from school libraries have the reading level coded onto the spine or onto a front or back cover. Your child should be reading books at the reading level appropriate for his skills. If he is consistently reading books at the same reading level, or moving from one level to a higher level, and the number of pages he reads is increasing, that is a positive clue.
- If he is reading for about the same amount of time each day (20 to 30 minutes for a kindergartener, 30 minutes for a first grader), and the number of page read is increasing, that is another positive clue.
On the chart you want to see an increase in the number of pages read if the child reads at the same level and for the same amount of time. Then you can suspect that your child is improving. But to be sure, ask the child about the story or nonfiction topic. Ask what the book is about (main ideas). Ask the child to put the ideas of the story in order (sequencing). If the child can do that, the child is probably grasping the story line and is improving in his reading skills.
To encourage the child, display the chart prominently, and point out the improvement. If a child needs external motivation, offer a reward when she reads a certain number of pages a day for a week. But for many children, just seeing the number go up and the pleasure this brings to you will be enough reward.