Finding the time to sit down and read aloud with our children can be a difficult task. Between getting home late from work, making dinner, helping with homework and get our children to sleep- parents deserve a little time to themselves to do email, watch a favorite TV program or chat with our partner. However, by not including a little bit of reading time in to the family routine, families are missing out on an opportunity to facilitate our child’s life long literacy.
The benefits of reading aloud to our children are endless. The role of parent as a reader and storyteller should begin at birth and end only when necessary. As your child grows, the read aloud changes to include different subjects, genres and time periods. Below is a short list highlighting ten advantages to reading aloud:
1. By setting time aside to read and talk about stories with you child, you make your son/daughter feel like a priority in your day and remind them that overall, they are the most important aspect of your life.
2. Reading to your child gives them the opportunity to see different lives, worlds, and choices.
3. Enjoying books with parents leads kids to be motivated to read books by themselves.
4. Stories are full of rich vocabulary, hearing these words helps develop the child’s own vocabulary bank.
5. Written language is different than spoken language; it is helpful for kids to listen to both when developing their own language skills.
6. Reading stories aloud sparks questions and conversations about the plot, characters, or ending. These conversations lead to a deeper understanding of the text. This is what successful readers do themselves when reading silently. Reading aloud is an excellent opportunity to model these behaviors.
7. Listening to books and stories helps develop imagination.
8. Standardized tests almost always assess reading (directly or indirectly). Just by reading aloud, you are giving your child tools to perform better.
9. The ability to sustain listening for an extended period of time is practiced.
10. It is fun and a great way to spend quality time with your children!
It is essential to find a time in your routine to include a read aloud for children of all ages. Many people like to stick it in just before bed time while others opt to steal time after dinner. The most important thing is to figure out which schedule works best for you and your child. It is a fun time to share together which also happens to provide tons of benefits.
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