One-Minute Book Reviews

June 28, 2011

Does Reading to Your Child Every Day Lead to Success in School? Quote of the Day / ‘Freakonomics’

Filed under: Quotes of the Day — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 7:42 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Parents tend to take it on faith that reading to children every day has benefits. Why shouldn’t they? The “Read to your child every day” mantra has advocates that include the American Library Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and other professional organizations.

But such authorities may have oversold the benefits of sitting down with a preschooler and a copy of Where the Wild Things Are, especially if parents hope that the habit will lead to success in school. Some of the evidence appears in Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner’s bestselling Freakonomics, an exploration of many assumptions that Americans take for granted.

Levitt and Dubner note that in the late 1990s, the U.S. Department of Education launched the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, which aimed to measure the academic progress of 20,000 American children from kindergarten through fifth grade. That project found that, at least insofar as test scores are concerned, reading to your child every day has no benefit. Children with many books in their home do perform well on school tests, the survey found. “But,” the authors write, “regularly reading to a child doesn’t affect test scores.”


  1. I agree with you about reading to the child.It increases their curiosity in stuff and they keep asking questions about everything.

    Comment by Matthew Harold — June 30, 2011 @ 4:33 am | Reply

  2. While reading everyday may not help the test scores, is that truly why we are encouraging children to read? Surely we are encouraging them to ask questions about the world and the way it is constructed, use their imaginations, make predictions, think about decisions and above all else find enjoyment in reading. This is one of the big drawbacks of high stakes testing – the fact that it is all that teachers, parents and students become focussed on. There is more to life than testing and this is the message that
    needs to be conveyed to your county’s leaders!
    A teacher who believes in the power of books in the lives of her students.

    Comment by rebecca reynolds (@becka_kate) — October 25, 2011 @ 6:03 am | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your 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 )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: