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DEAR Time: The importance of reading for 20 minutes a day

What is DEAR time?

Have you ever heard of DEAR time? Has your child ever come home from elementary school and talked about reading as a class? DEAR is an acronym that stands for Drop Everything And Read! It's popular to do DEAR time to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday on March 2nd.

In my former elementary school, we had a school-wide DEAR time where everyone stopped to read at the same time every day! I encourage you to make DEAR time a part of your daily schedule at home.


The amount of time your child spends reading each day directly correlates to the number of words your child is exposed to. Reading for only twenty minutes a day has huge effects on reading fluency and vocabulary. Click through to discover ways in which to sneak more reading time in each day.

Independent reading is so very important for multiple reasons. This powerful image illustrates how many minutes your child will read each school year if they read for 20 minutes a day. Check out that vocabulary number! Your child will be exposed to almost two million words simply by reading 20 minutes a day. They are learning and picking up new vocabulary.

“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go!” Wise words from Dr. Seuss! The more time you give your child to read, the more you are setting them up for success!

Your children are obviously practicing their decoding and word knowledge skills as they read books on their level. They are also expanding their knowledge on different topics, especially if they've picked up a nonfiction book.

This Dr. Seuss quote is one of my favorites: "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." By giving your child set reading time each and every day, you are setting them up for success in so many different ways! Your child is also improving their writing skills through exposure to new authors and reading new books.


It's tricky to find 20 minutes to read in our busy schedules. Believe me, I know! My little interns keep me on my toes! You have to find what works for your family and your schedule. 

A lot of moms find it easy to read right before bed. Reading is a part of their bedtime routine. This is a great time to squeeze in some reading, as long as your little one isn't too tired to practice their reading skills or listen to you read.

If you have a nap time or a "quiet time" in the afternoon, it may be easy to squeeze in some reading during that time.

You can also have your children read independently as soon as they wake up in the morning. Before their clock turns green and it's okay to wake up, my little interns know they can read books in their room. Is my 4-year-old reading? Not every book, but flipping through pictures and reading from memory is all part of the process!

How will you fit in DEAR time in your busy schedule?

Are you looking for books for DEAR time? Click here to check out some of my favorite books that will inspire your kids to love to read!