I love reading aloud to my Kindergarten kids. And I giggle every time they do the “scooting-in sprint” when they see me reach for a book. They are always happy to be read to.
Reading aloud to kids, according to educator Jim Trelease, is the magic bullet for creating lifelong readers.
When we think about it, we’ve got them as pre-reading listeners from birth to around age seven. So, we have thousands of opportunities to expose them to an incredible amount of vocabulary words through conversation.
Since we often speak in phrases, we need to remember the importance of reading aloud to our kids. We find sentences in books, magazines and newspapers. The language is more complicated, too, so exposure to different types of mediums is a must.
Read-alouds can expose our kids to a wider and richer range of vocabulary words. Researchers believe that children with a large vocabulary typically perform better academically than children with a smaller vocabulary.
Additional benefits of read-alouds include:
- Cultivating empathy and compassion
- Creating bonds between listener and reader
- Transporting listeners and readers to other parts of the world
- Exposing listeners and readers to varied viewpoints
- Providing natural discussion points
- Increasing a child’s attention span
- Appealing to listening level vs reading level
- Presenting opportunities for problem-solving without having the problem
- Turning listeners into readers
When should we stop reading aloud to our kids? While it may make sense to stop once they can read on their own, 40% of 6-11 year olds wished parents would continue reading aloud to them (Flood, 2015). They won’t necessarily tell you that, but the wish is there.
Oh, one last benefit of read-alouds — it allows us, the read-aloud readers, the chance to touch base with our inner child.
When’s the last time you were wowed by the places you’ll go, cried about a velveteen rabbit or laughed out loud about an interrupting chicken?
Sounds like it’s time for a read-aloud.