Blog What Really Matters When Reading

What Really Matters When Reading

by Research Team
starling reading time

From “Good Night Moon” to a Dr. Suess classic, the books that we read to our child leave lasting memories. As the creators of the Starling, we like to think of reading as more than just a special childhood memory. Being read to expands a child’s imagination, builds their vocabulary, and equips them with the ability to understand abstract concepts. Essentially, reading is superfood for a child’s brain.

We’ll be the first ones to admit that reading is an underrated skill. There’s a big difference between reading to a child and reading with a child. There are four main metrics that we consider when measuring the ‘quality’ of reading that a child receives.

  • Total Time: The research is clear – the more you read, the better! Aim to read 20-30 minutes per day, and remember this can be done in multiple sessions – for example, 10 minutes before naptime & 15 minutes before bedtime.1
  • Words Per Minute: We’ve all been guilty of reading to finish a book instead of reading to engage. So sometimes we need a reminder to slow down! Research shows that children can process up to 125 words per minute, however we adults tend to talk a lot more quickly than that. Make sure to slow down while you’re reading so that your little one is absorbing all of the rich vocabulary books have to offer.
  • Noise: It’s important to read in a quiet environment so that your little one can stay focused on & engaged with the books you’re reading. TV, radio or older kids talking in the background all contribute to a noisy environment. Check out this post we wrote on background noise.
  • Engagement: Try to make reading an interactive experience. Point to different objects on the page and describe them and act out different voices in the book. Ask your child questions about the story – if she is younger pause & continue reading; if she is older allow her to respond or ask her own questions. Factors like these help ensure your little one is focused on & engaged with the books you’re reading! For more tips check out this post!

We’re extremely passionate about helping every child reach their full potential and we think it’s important that every parent or caregiver knows where they stand with regards to these metrics. That’s why we’ve created the Starling Reading Excellence Program – a one-week crash course that takes book reading to the next level. Delivered via a smartphone app, the program analyzes the quality of your reading sessions & coaches you with research-backed tips & tricks to reading excellence. If you’re interested in participating please reach out to us via email ( — we’d love to hear from you.

About the Author

Research Team

The Starling Research Team is comprised of talented speech therapists, pediatricians, child development researchers, parents, and students from all over the world. If you share our passion for early education and a knack for turning hard research into engaging, relatable, enlightening stories, why not introduce yourself to us (with a few writing samples) via

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