Why 15 Minutes of Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) Works Magic

by Aspen Learning Lab

Why is 15 minutes of reading each night worth more than we know?

Read more here about why sustained silent reading (SSR) is one of the most important skills and habits we can instill in our students.

This habit is a crucial key to instilling focus and routine in our kids that will prove necessary for years to come. Although we know this habit is beneficial, instituting it daily can prove difficult. Here are some tips to start small and build up to 15 minutes of enjoyable sustained silent reading.

  1. Create a Special SSR Space

There is nothing quite like curling up in a comfortable, well lit, and cozy nook with a good book. Your child can choose to create their space anywhere they would like, as long as it is quiet and productive for reading. Do they like the outdoors? Pick a spot on the porch. Do they like blankets and cozy corners? Find a corner of a low-traffic room to decorate.

  1. Switch It Up

The ability to choose what to read is a huge component of SSR. We want to encourage kids to find books they like, but don’t discourage putting down books they don’t. Having a plethora of reading materials is key when practicing SSR. Just as adults do, kids should be able to choose what they read as well as switch it up when they are uninterested. This will keep the reading fun and enjoyable instead of feeling like punishment or discipline.

  1. Do Not Disturb

Finally, let them be! It is hard for anyone to focus and remain silent, especially when they are being called to dinner, to play with friends, to make their bed or just to be checked on. In order to allow kids to get into true SSR time, they need just that… time. Set a specific timer or time in the evening that is known as SSR. This will notify everyone else in the house that it’s their special reading time and they are not to be disturbed. This will also give the child a sense of independence and importance.

It’s like Dr. Gardiner says, “What if I just make-up those ten minutes from Monday through Friday, and then we just read for fifty minutes on Friday instead? That doesn’t work. Five times ten does not equal fifty in SSR. It’s just like (running)…It would be like instead of running two miles each day, we’ll just run ten miles on Friday.”

For more ideas, tips, or tricks, check out our other blog posts. For information about our personalized teacher support, enrichment classes, academic coaching, Homeschool or Microschool options, feel free to contact our team today at contact@aspenlearninglab.com.

Happy Learning!
The Aspen Learning Lab Team