By Kate Jerome
Did you know that reading aloud is the single most important activity you can do to help a child succeed in reading? It’s true! And here are just three of the many reasons why.
- Builds Vocabulary Children learn words primarily through listening. Obviously conversation plays a big role but reading picture books offers more rich and diverse language than child-centered conversations alone. And don’t worry about kids understanding every word. Just hearing the words in context is helpful.
- Increases Focus Unlike watching TV, being read to delivers a slower pace of ideas. Children learn to listen and concentrate as you explain the unfolding events of a story. Over time, this can help increase a child’s attention span.
- Encourages Bonding and Creativity There’s no question that your voice is the one that makes a difference! Snuggling up for a good read helps a child feel secure which allows her or his imagination to soar. Even books that seem beyond a beginner’s comprehension can mesmerize a child because of the rhythm of your language.
There’s no way you can make a mistake reading aloud to a child. But here’s a tip. Before you read a book, experts often recommend you take a “picture walk” through the pages. This allows you to set the stage for reading by pointing out the setting. You can also ask your “Little” to make a prediction about what might happen next.
The beauty of building a strong read-aloud culture in your home is that it lasts for such a long time. Even when children can easily read on their own (9-11 years old), they love to curl up and listen to a book being read (and discussed) with them. Remember, you don’t need a special occasion to read together…just enjoy the experience anytime and watch the benefits grow!