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How to Raise a Reader

Experts agree that reading may be the single best activity a student can do to excel academically in school. It trumps tutoring, Kumon classes, and flash cards. I wholeheartedly agree.

In addition to what reading does for one's imagination and exposure to new ideas, it also takes a tremendous weight off a student's shoulders when it comes to SAT prep (and class work in general).

The truth is, the verbal section of the SAT (which includes Critical Reading and Writing) cannot be studied for at the last minute. There is no way to cram for "reading comprehension", for example. In some ways, a student either "has it" or not.

Sure, there are strategies and test-taking tips that may swing a score by a few points, but a student's true score will be a direct reflection of how much they have read over the past decade. Yes, the last decade.


Yes, there's a lot riding on whether your child grows up as a "reader" or not. And the benefits extend far beyond the verbal section of the SAT.

All classes that require reading, writing, and analysis will become infinitely easier with a strong reading background.


If you had to focus on one thing that will have the most long-term, positive impact on how your child performs academically - do what it takes to make your child an avid reader. The earlier the better.  In some ways, children begin to study for the SAT the moment they learn how to read.

10 Tips to Raising an Avid Reader:

  1. Read to your child the moment they enter the world
  2. Read to your child with passion, enthusiasm, and spirit
  3. Read to your child every night without fail
  4. Go to the library often and pick out books
  5. Have lots of books available at home
  6. Strike a deal: Book first, movie second
  7. Establish a Family Home Reading Night
  8. Any reading is good reading (comics, newspapers, etc.)
  9. Let your children see you reading
  10. Make reading a family tradition

As a parent, there's always a fine line between pushing and challenging your children. Try not to force reading upon them; however, know that it will be time well spent if you can crack the code.

This is not easy or predictable. So far, only 2 of my 3 children (of reading age) are "readers". The third has not caught on yet. We'll keep trying because it's worth the effort.

If you are interested in receiving more information like this, enroll in PrepWell Academy

Prep On,

Author: PrepWell Academy's Founder, Phil Black, has spent a lifetime cracking the code on the world's most competitive programs: Yale University, Harvard Business School, Navy SEALs, Goldman Sachs, Entrepreneurship, Shark Tank, etc.

Inside PrepWell Academy, Black teaches students everything they need to know about the college admissions process in a series of expertly-timed, 3-5-minute, weekly training videos starting in 9th grade and continuing through 12th grade [Note: this program can only be joined in 9th or 10th grade]. My specialties include military service academies, ROTC scholarships, Ivy League, and student-athletes.

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