One in five Americans between the ages of thirteen to eighteen watch almost 35 hours of TV each week (Television and Children). That is almost enough hours to put in at a full time job. When you think about it that means some students spend more time watching TV than any other activity besides sleeping. Wouldn't you want your child to be doing something better than sitting at the TV all day? Television's impact on reading and other academic skills depends not only on the amount of television being watched but also on what is being watched. Time spent watching television severely limits time for other activities. There are plenty of things going on after school both in the elementary level as well as high school and college. Sports, clubs, and volunteer work are some things students can be doing rather than spending their free time in front of the tube. Childhood is a period of growth and children need to converse with other children their age as well as adults. Television takes away from this. "The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that the total television time be limited to no more than 1 to 2 hours per day" (MediaFamily.org). This allows for time to play, read, and many other things. Children will achieve more success in their academics if they have experience with books and other print media. Also, one must take into consideration what is being watched.
Studies have shown that children who watch carefully constructed educational programs that are aimed at their age level, have showed to do better in reading skills than children who watched infrequently or not at all (MediaFamily.org). For example; preschoolers who watch Sesame Street will most likely do better in school than preschoolers that do not watch. The same study showed that children who watch cartoons or other purely entertainment television, did poorer on reading skills (MediaFamily.org). It's pretty simple, read a book and you will get better the more you read.