The Hidden Power of Reading Aloud
Why Reading Aloud to Your Child is so Important
Reading aloud to your kids is the most important thing that you can do for them.
Again, reading aloud to your kids is the most important thing that you can do for your them.
Why is it the most important thing that you can do for your child’s education, I am about to tell you.
Reading aloud is the foundation for literacy development.
It is the single most important activity for reading success (Bredekamp, Copple, & Neuman, 2000).
It provides the children with demonstration of phrased, fluent reading (Fountas & Pinnell, 1996).
It reveals the rewards of reading, develops the listener’s interest in books and desire to be a reader (Mooney, 1990).
“The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.” (Commission on Reading, 1985)
The number one reason children enjoy being read to was, it is a special time with their parent. (Scholastic, 2016)
Reading aloud to young children is not only one of the best activities to stimulate language and cognitive skills; it also builds motivation, curiosity, and memory. Bardige, B. Talk to Me, Baby!(2009), Paul H Brookes Pub Co.
After going to the Great Homeschool Convention last year, I was astounded at the amount of times that I heard that reading aloud to your children is the most important thing that you can do for them. I knew reading aloud to them when they were young was very important, but I never imagined the effect it could have on them after they were able to read on their own. The frequency of reading aloud to a child after the age of 5, drops from 59% to 17%. Yet when kids ages 6-11 were polled about being read to, 87% loved it.
It took me back to my sixth grade year of public school. I remember sitting at my desk, head down, as the teacher read the most intriguing and adventuresome book. I don’t remember what it was called, but I do remember the feelings of excitement each day when it was finally read aloud time. I would sit there and be whisked away to another world. It was like creating a movie in my mind.
This year we made reading aloud our number one priority, right behind Bible study. At first it was a short process. I found myself reading for only about 10-15 minutes each day, before my eyes were strained, my voice became tight, and I was falling asleep from reading. The kids were usually not listening anymore either. In less than 6 months time, we have found ourselves on the other end of the spectrum.
We read aloud for at least 30-45 minutes a day. The kids moan when I stop reading or hit pause on the audiobook and beg to hear more. They have even gone as far as to ask repeatedly throughout the day, to have me read more of the story or to turn the audio book back on.
Beyond the need for reading, our discussions about our books have risen to a level of maturity that I didn’t even think was possible. We used to talk about the characters and the plot of the story. Now I find them linking the story to everyday events, to facts that they have memorized, or even comparing the characters to the setting, plot and conflict. My kids are 11 and 8 years old and have the ability to discuss a book that we are reading in more detail and with better understanding than I did in high school.
Their vocabulary and ability to write have also gone up. My 11 year old daughter started writing a fiction story last month on her computer on her own time. I thought that it would a story that lacked strong verbs, quality adjectives and a good plot. I was completely wrong. Her story was amazing. I could view every detail in my brain and it made me want to read more. I was so impressed with her writing skills I ran the computer into the living room to show my husband right away. He was amazed at her writing skills. Her story’s plot, centered around the book that we just finished reading.
My favorite part of reading aloud to my children is the relationships that we have built. There have been plenty of times where we have read a book together, huddled under a blanket, drinking hot chocolate. Sprawling out in the grass, as the sun warmed our back, drifting off to a far away land or where ever the book took us that day. We have traveled to ancient Egypt with menacing gods, we have read about people that come out of books and stir up trouble, we hav read about courageous children, and even went to Oklahoma where we fell in love with two coon dogs. We have enjoyed many laughs, cries and expressions of wonder. Our understanding of vocabulary has grown, due to the fact that we look up words that we do not know immediately. Our discussions have blossomed into detailed words tangled in webs of branching thoughts.
So don’t just take the scientific research that has been done to realize how important reading aloud to your child is. Take it from this mom who was a public school teacher, to homeschooling mom, to a mom that wants what is best for her family. Reading aloud to your child not only creates changes in them academically, but also within their character and their relationship with you.
Make sure that you take time to read aloud to your child everyday. It is the most life changing subject that you will ever find.
For more infomation try these resources:
- Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease
- The Read-Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie
- Read Aloud Revival Website