In the Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease, he says, “The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.”
As a busy, homeschooling mom, I love this quote because reading aloud to my kids is so attainable. It doesn’t feel like another thing to check off my never-ending list, it’s simply a time to relax, connect, and share a story with my kids.
I can do that.
After talking with some of my favorite home school moms and teachers about their experiences with reading aloud, I felt inspired to sit down and share some of the benefits with you.
I hope they excite you as much as they did for me. And remind you, that this seemingly little deed of reading aloud to your kids is actually making a world of difference.
Benefits of Reading Aloud:
1. Creates relational bonds
Reading aloud usually starts in a safe and warm place, it is not just a good story but a common connection between the readers. For little ones, it’s physically being held or cuddled.
For older kids, its connecting over commons ideas and the quality time shared.
2. Teaches the habit of attention
The habit of attention is needed in every aspect of life. If a child is presented with a feast of good ideas, but doesn’t have the habit of attention, he won’t be able to retain the content.
There are multiple games to teach this habit but one of the easiest, yet overlooked methods is simply reading aloud to your kids.
A few minutes, a couple of picture books, and cuddles on the couch, can grow into a much longer periods of attentivness. Furthermore, once the habit of attention is cultivated, it spreads into the other aspects of their life.
3. Builds vocabulary
A natural outcome of exposure to literature is a broadened vocabulary. Therefore, choosing quality content is so beneficial.
Because vocabulary is assimilated by what we hear, try include books that challenge and expand your kid’s vocabulary. (Choosing some of the vintage, children’s books is a great place to start.)
4. Teaches language and intonation
Knowing that kids learn by imitation, is a huge part of understanding the benefits of reading aloud.
For that reason, we read to our kids so they are not only hearing proper language structure but they are picking up intonation, and trying it for themselves.
This aural practice plays a big role in language speech and development that will far out weigh any future text-book.
5. Builds confidence and comprehension
As kids get older they start to narrate back what they are hearing. They are exercising their abilities to process information, to place events in chronological order, and to organize their thoughts.
Their minds become acclimated to processing new information regularly, and this builds their confidence in their ability to learn.
As their reading gets better, they will enjoy it more, and when they are enjoying it, they will choose to do it on their own.
6. Fosters empathy
George R.R. Martin said, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…The man who never reads lives only one.”
In other words, books put our children in the shoes of others, and lets them walk around for a bit. They are able to experience cultures and feelings they might not have ever, had they not opened a book.
1. Read aloud to your kids (No age restriction)
2. Do a little every day
3. Choose a wide variety of age-appropriate literature
4. Include your kid’s in the selection process
5. Always have books accessible
There are lots of wonderful book lists to get you started reading aloud to your kids. You can check out our book list page or jump straight to one of the following:
- 10 Great Poetry Books for Kids
- Picture Book Treasuries for Kids
- Vintage Book Collections for Kids
- Picture Books About Rocks
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