Planning Reading Sessions

Here are some guidelines that, hopefully, will help you to plan and organize daily reading sessions with your child. If you are just starting to read with your child, don't feel daunted. It really is an easy - and enjoyable - activity.

We've divided up the sessions into 15 and 30 minute durations, but don't feel like you have to stick rigidly to these time limits.

Non Readers

15 Minute Sessions

  • Select two or three books of short to medium length (16-24 pages).
  • Tell your child you'll be reading one of these books and let him or her select the one they would like to read. For a very young child, you might like to simply show him or her the covers and select the book that most appeals to them.
  • Read the cover and ignite your child's curiosity, then read the book.
  • Spend any remaining time (remember - 15 minutes) talking about the story, reading the book again, and focusing on parts of the story of special interest.

30 Minute Sessions

  • Select five or six books of short to medium length (16-24 pages) or two to three longer books (32-40 pages).
  • Tell your child you'll be reading two of the books (or one of them if you chose longer books) and let him/her select which one they would like to read. (For a toddler, you may simply show him/her the covers and select the book which makes the child smile.)
  • Read the first book.
  • Spend a minute or two discussing it or answering any questions.
  • Read the second book.
  • Spend any remaining time talking about the stories, reading one of the books again, or looking at the funny or silly parts again.

Early Readers

15-minute session: Alternate pages

  • Let your child select one very easy book of short to medium length (16-24 pages) with very simple words.
  • Take turns in reading the pages of the book. Whenever s/he is having difficulty, help out by slowly reading the word with them.
  • Spend any remaining time talking about the story, reading the book again, or looking at the funny or silly parts again.

15-minute session: Read together

  • Let your child select one very easy book of short to medium length (16-24 pages) with very simple words.
  • Read the book aloud, encouraging him/her to read with you. This can be done by the two of you reading each word together.
  • When you encounter a more advanced word, take a second to explain it to him/her and then read the sentence again.
  • Spend any remaining time talking about the story, reading the book again, or looking at the funny or silly parts again.

15-minute session: Supervised reading

  • Let your child select one very easy book of short to medium length (16-24 pages) with very simple words.
  • Let him/her read the book to you. Whenever s/he is having difficulty, help out by slowly pronouncing the word with them and explaining what it means, until they can read it by themselves.
  • Spend any remaining time talking about the story, reading the book again, or looking at the funny or silly parts again.

30-minute session: Taking turns

  • Let your child select one very easy book of short to medium length (16-24 pages) with very simple words.
  • Read the book to him/her.
  • Then let him/her read the book to you, helping whenever s/he is having difficulty by slowly reading the word with them.
  • Spend any remaining time talking about the story, reading the book again, or looking at the funny or silly parts again.