There are a number of excellent answers to the question of why should we read aloud to children.
When we read aloud to children ...
- reading is more enjoyable
- listening skills are improved
- comprehension abilities are increased
- language skills and vocabulary are expanded
- attention spans are extended
- imaginations are developed.
The Best Reason of All
Despite all of these very valid reasons, there's one more fantastic reason: reading aloud to children strengthens and develops relationships between parents and children.
When we read aloud to children, we participate in a joint adventure in which both adult and child are engaged. It's a shared experience ... a partnership ... one which is extremely enjoyable for both the reader and the listener.
The parent and child become involved in the story and are eager to find out what comes next. There's a common goal and plenty to talk about between readings. This is especially true if you're reading a chapter book together over a period of days or weeks. For example:
"The Wind in the Willows" by Kenneth Grahame or
"Charlotte's Web" by E. B. White or
"The BFG" by Roald Dahl.
Of course, the type of book you read to your child will depend greatly on his/her age, interests and language/comprehension abilities. Picture books are fantastic for reading aloud to young children as the pictures help to engage children's attention.
Older children also benefit from being read to
However, as children grow older, they still enjoy and benefit greatly from being read to. Primary school children are in need of being read aloud to just as much as younger children. Just because a child is becoming an independent reader doesn't mean that the parent/child read aloud sessions must become a thing of the past.
I love our times of reading together with my children and am thrilled to think that such times are going to continue despite the fact my children can now read independently.
What are you reading aloud to your children at the moment? We'd love to hear your experiences. Feel free to leave a comment on this post or on our facebook page.
There's a wealth of books to share! Have fun! Grab a book, a snack, a cushion and enjoy some time together!
By the way, here are some hints on how to make your reading aloud session magically! Enjoy!