What is time worth to you? 20 minutes can seem like a lifetime in a day already too full with responsibilities. But, what would 20 minutes of reading a night do for your child?
Here's what I've learned over the course of my career. Kids need to read for themselves. They need to sound it out, struggle through it, get the hang of it, and through perseverance, conquer the written word. Sound like a lot of work? You bet!
Learning to read is a lot more than just studying the words and cracking the code. One hugely important aspect of becoming a good reader is modeling other good readers. When your child hears you read a story, and they are free to listen to the story rather than focusing on the mechanics of reading, they learn that all those words have a bigger meaning. It's like taking them up in a hot air balloon and showing them that all those giant trees they've been standing under actually make up a beautiful forest.
And please understand - I'm not a literacy snob. If the Walter the Farting Dog does it for your kids, then by all means! The point is to take away the mystery and reveal reading for what it really can be - a simple joy and gateway to the thoughts of others.