The Family That Reads Together, Grows Together

This is the second blog post in an eight-part blog series, Seven Simple Solutions to Smarter, Less Stressed Kids. Each post contains one new solution to help families grow together and help improve academic performance.


You can boost your child’s IQ by reading with them, and engaging in active listening: talking about what you just read. Reading achievement, especially in elementary school, forms the foundation for all successive learning pursuits. Based on the findings of a study I conducted in the Houston Independent School District, as well as past research, much of the responsibility lies with not only the school, but also the family, in terms of the environments they provide the student.

My research shows that parents need to actively model the importance of reading, by reading to and with their children. When kids see you reading, they will read. When you read with your children, you create an environment in which learning is valued.


Spend at least 20 minutes each day reading with your child and talking with them about what you just read.


  • For children ages 0-3, this can mean reading to them as they are falling asleep at naptime.
  • For older children, this time can be split in half: you read for 10 minutes, and they read for 10      minutes. Then, you talk together for 10 minutes about what you just read.
  • Or, you can take turns each day: you read one day, and your child reads the next day.
  • For many families, the most natural time for to incorporate reading time is at bedtime, but this can also be broken up into several chunks of time throughout the day.