Read for Fun at Night
Study Skills Series: The first Monday of every month, we give timely, practical, and original study skills advice. Timely means it’s especially useful during that month of the school year. Practical means it’s easy to act on. Original means we wrote it ourselves and you can only get it here.T he fastest way to get smarter is to move to another country. The second-fastest way is to read for fun, preferably challenging fiction; even more preferably, challenging fiction in a second language!
Most students quit reading for fun when they get to high school because they believe they have too much homework, but most students who believe they have too much homework would have plenty of time to read for fun if they improved their study skills.
Other students prioritize reading for fun over reading for school, which is a bad idea for two reasons: 1) getting straight As in high school pays more in college scholarships than reading for fun does; and 2) schoolwork takes longer when you do it at the end of the day, so if these students did their schoolwork first and then their fun reading at night, they’d actually have more time to read for fun!
In the long run, if you want the best of both worlds – the academic world and the real world – you should kick butt on your schoolwork before dinner and read for fun at night.
And when it comes time to choose a new book, remember what my 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Rios, used to say: “Stretch the rubber band.” Meaning, challenge yourself.
Students should look for books in which they don’t know all the words on the page, and parents should procure books that are a notch or two more challenging than the books their kids are currently reading.
Now, go finish your homework so that you can get your read on!