Works for Me Wednesday: Silent Reading Time

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Sustained Silent Reading – SSR. That’s the official name from The Read-Aloud Handbook, by Jim Trelease.  We just call it “silent reading time” at our house and it’s my favorite time of day.  Brianna loves it, too.  Josh tolerates it.  Megan hates it (“Because it’s silent,” she says.  That’s funny for those who know her well.).  I have a feeling that it will grow on them as they become stronger, more independent readers.

sustained silent reading

Silent reading time is always after lunch, usually just after the kids each do their reading drills, which I think helps them get warmed up for reading.  Because silent reading time is time to cultivate a love of reading, everyone is free to choose what they want to read with no restrictions.  The only exception is that I have the younger two select the book that they’ll be reading aloud to me after silent reading time and something of their choosing to read after that.  That way, they can pre-read whatever they’ll be reading to me and still have time to read something of their choosing after they’re finished.

My favorite benefits of silent reading time are:

  • It gives us time to transition back into our school day after lunch.
  • It allows the younger kids to pre-read their practice reading, giving them more confidence.
  • It gives us all some quiet time in the middle of the day.
  • It encourages reading for pleasure.
  • It gives me time to enjoy my own personal reading each day.

I’m glad that my younger two are reading well enough that we’ve been able to add silent reading time to our school day.  I can’t wait until we’re all wishing we had longer to read!  Visit Kristin at We Are THAT Family for more Works for Me Wednesday tips.

image credit photoxpress

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  1. Oooh! I remember sustained silent reading from when I was in elementary school! I loved it then and I'd love to enforce it now. lol! (As in everyone leave me alone for an hour!) lol!! =D I think it's a great way to transition back to school after lunch. Good for you. =)

  2. @fertiledavis — We do half an hour of silent reading. I think that's about all the younger two (ages 8 and 9, not yet strong independent readers) can tolerate right now. I'd love to increase it as they get older.

  3. I don't home school, but I need to incorporate reading time in my date. I used to have such a love for reading and still do. I just haven't scheduled the time for it anymore. I must get back to doing more of that and less of this. Stop by and browse a bit; I'm sure you'll like what you see. If you do, then don't forget to click the "Follow" button and just below that you can "Subscribe" to my blog to get informative posts and we can both inspire and share with one another to get our creative juices flowing.

  4. @ Vanessa — I love that! I'm totally stealing that. "Hey, kids, it's time for squirt" sounds like much more fun than just silent reading.

  5. I loved SSR in elementary school! And when I was in junior high, we had one half-hour a week of school-wide club meetings (each teacher running a "club" for a special interest) and one of the teachers had Reading Club where you could read whatever you wanted for half an hour…bliss!!

    My son is 4, and I'm eager for him to start reading, but I also enjoy reading to him. Click my name for some of his favorite chapter books–many are on the reading level of your younger kids.

  6. We also do silent reading every day. It's nice for the kids to get to pick whatever they want to read, and they always look forward to their free reading time.

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