Why should you read aloud to your child? While it’s easier than ever to press play on an audiobook narrated by a talented voice actor, spending your own time reading out loud to your child has a variety of benefits, from encouraging him or her to develop strong communication skills to growing closer together as a family.
The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children. . . . It is a practice that should continue throughout the grades.”
– Becoming a Nation of Readers1Anderson, Richard C., Elfrieda H. Hiebert, Judith A. Scott, and Ian A. G. Wilkinson, Becoming a Nation of Readers: The Report of the Commission on Reading, (Champaign-Urbana, IL: Center for the Study of Reading, 1985), 23.
Why Read Aloud to Your Child? 5 Important Reasons
While there are countless reasons to read aloud to your child, here are just five of our favorites.
1. Encourages Communication Skills
Whether by mimicking your character voices and inflections or by practicing delivering their own passages, reading aloud with your child lays the foundations for valuable, lifelong communication skills. Plus, there’s no doubt your own communication skills will improve from reading aloud to your child!
Reading stories out loud to [my children] every night improved my own reading, speaking, and literature analysis skills.”
– Leigh Bortins, The Core (p. 103)
2. Builds a Foundation of Vocabulary
Your child’s (and perhaps your own) speaking vocabulary will blossom as you read aloud. They’ll take the new terms and phrases you verbalize into their everyday conversations, making them more eloquent speakers.
3. Encourages Critical Thinking and Compassion
Reading aloud creates opportunities for your child to ask, “What would I do in this character’s situation?” This develops problem-solving and critical thinking skills and encourages empathy and compassion.
4. Allows Your Family to Grow Closer
As you read aloud to your child, you are telling them that they are worth your full attention. This naturally brings about beautiful moments of precious family bonding.
Teaching core reading skills is best done alongside rather than in front of a student. This is a great time to bond with your children. Especially when they’re young, pull them onto your lap or put an arm around them as you encourage them to read difficult books out loud. Touch helps to break down fear and self-doubt and any other emotional barriers.”
– Leigh Bortins, The Core (p. 91)
5. Extends Your Child’s Attention Span
Another reason to read aloud is to help your child develop a prolonged attention span. Whether reading for fifteen minutes or an hour, children often become transfixed when read to, which encourages them to practice sitting still and attending to the details of the narrative.
One of the greatest, most satisfying phrases parents hear from their children is, ‘Please, read another chapter!’ If parents can teach their children to speak and to walk, which are two of the most difficult things humans learn to do, I know they can be their child’s best reading teacher.”
– Leigh Bortins, The Core (p. 106)
Why Not Read Aloud?
After recognizing the many benefits of reading aloud to your student, the real question you should be asking yourself is this: “Why not read aloud to my child?” If you’re in search of some great books to read out loud to your student, check out our post “Great Read-Alouds for the Homeschool Family.”
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