Reading Aloud with Children

It's the most wonderful time of the year!  Well, at least for youngsters who love to read!

Hello, everyone!  It's Andrea from Reading Toward the Stars with good reasons to read with young children daily and encourage parents to do the same!

Studies show that reading aloud to children, especially young children, has a great impact on reading development.  Children who are read to for at least 20 minutes each day actually have been shown to perform higher in kindergarten classrooms than those who don't get that reading time.

I remember learning all of this when getting my Masters, which was something I had never really thought about.  I thought my mom just read to us because she enjoyed it, much like I do now.  The graphic below gives a perfect picture of how reading helps children's vocabulary grow so much.  Which student is going to have the best advantage as reader?

This is true of students who have been read to as well.  Their vocabulary is much higher than those students who have not been read to.

There are many other benefits to reading with your own children (or grandkids, nieces, nephews, neighbors, or even younger siblings).

1.  It helps them learn new vocabulary.  My daughter loves to read the same books over and over and over and over.  We have read the book Freight Train by Donald Crews a million times.  From this book, she has learned her colors and cars on a train.  She can even recite the words in the book.  Such a simple book with a simple message!
2  It teaches directionality.  When you read with a young child, they watch your every move!  They seem to know which page you are on, no matter what.  I have started to point to the words as I read books with my two-year old, and she follows along with me.  Now when she "reads" a book on her own, she looks at the words in a left to right fashion.

3.  Reading aloud aids in comprehension.  Now that my son is in the fifth grade, I still read aloud to him.  Right now we are in the midst of the Harry Potter series.  Since there are no pictures, he has to visualize everything in the book for himself.  When he watched the movie six weeks after finishing the first book, he actually noticed the differences.  It shows me how much he was paying attention to the contents of the book!

4.  Children can ask questions, lots of them!  By nature, children are curious.  So, when reading aloud to them, they can stop and ask questions about what is happening in the book, on their own terms.  In school, the teacher doesn't always stop for questions because there may not be enough time.  While reading the Harry Potter books, my son doesn't always ask the questions right at the moment we are reading.  He asks in the car, in the grocery store, at dinner, and any old time.  Many times he is predicting and wants the answer, but I always tell him that we will have to keep reading!

I have always read aloud to my two kids, since before they were born.  Yes, I was that mom!  My parents read aloud to each of us every single night for as long as I can remember.  As I became a Mom, I realized the importance of reading with my children for at least 20 minutes each day.  And it has worked beautifully!
My son reading to my daughter

Reading with your children, or any children you know, creates readers.  They learn at an early age that reading can be fun and exciting.  They understand that it takes you to places you can only imagine.  They BECOME readers!

Reading aloud doesn't always have to happen at the same time, just make it happen every day!  And what a better time to start than right now!

So, what books do you like to read aloud?

1 comment

  1. My own children loved it when I read aloud, with Jamberry and Good Night Moon being two bedtime favorites! Now I read aloud to my second graders at least 4 times a day--three picture books and our after-lunch chapter book! I truly believe that they need to hear the rhythm of the language, the expression and inflection, and sometimes just ENJOY books! Thanks for this great post!