Ten Benefits of Reading Aloud to Children

One of the favorite pastimes in our home is reading. My husband and I both love to read. We strive to spread the love of reading to our grandchildren by first modeling. They see Grammie and Poppy reading a lot when they visit our house. We also never turn down an opportunity to read to them. My heart smiles when I hear one of our darlings say, “Read this to me Grammie”. That’s the reason for this post on Ten Benefits of Reading Aloud to Children.

10 Benefits of Reading Aloud to Children

Research has concluded that reading aloud to children is the single most important activity to build knowledge that will lead to future success of a child reading themselves. In no particular order I would like to share with you my own top ten reasons why I am sure reading aloud will benefit your children.

1.    Family Bonding Time – this is a great way to create a special family bonding experience with your child. Cuddle up together and let the child pick the book. Read aloud to your child often, soon they will be asking for more time together reading with you. Most children crave attention and your kids will love the close time you are spending with them. This is a great activity to show them how much you care about what they are interested in. It is time well spent that won’t be soon forgotten.
2.    Promotes Literacy – reading to your children will help them open up to a whole new world of knowledge. You are in the driver seat so take the wheel. Make the characters of the book come alive and see your children become engrossed with what they are experiencing. Build up your home set of books and take your child to the local library so they may chose from a variety of books. Read the recipes aloud while making dinner, it is never too early to start promoting valuable life skills. Tell them about some of your own favorite childhood books
3.    Builds Vocabulary and Comprehension Skills – don’t be afraid to make a pause during the story to ask a few questions so you are sure the child understands what you are reading. Point out familiar objects in the illustrations. Let your child tell you what they think is happening on the page. Even reading the same book over and over will help these vital memory skills to continue to develop.
4.    Helps with Reading Skills – Parents that read aloud to their children will help model good reading practices. Reading aloud will help a child with a better understanding of reading fluency, grammar, and sentence structure. Another advantage is increased language and speech development that children gain from being read to aloud. When children hear the correct way books are to be read the greater their chance of them mimicking the behavior when they begin reading on their own.
5.    Develops Knowledge – reading books aloud will increase a child’s imagination and curiosity. This will also lead to creativity in children. They will become more confident and will express themselves better as a result of having been read to. Learning something new is a gift you are giving your child.
6.    Better School Performance – children that have been exposed to reading aloud are shown to have become successful readers and perform better in learning at school. Their attention spans have been honed which also helps with behavior issues in the classroom.
7.    Life Long Learners – reading aloud to children will encourage idea of becoming life long learner. The more you read to your children the more they will want you to read aloud to them. Each of the pages you turn offers a chance to learn something new and that my friends, is always a good thing. In fact it is one of Grammie and Poppy’s mottos, “Any day of learning is a good day”.
8.    Reading Aloud is Fun – This can be a fun activity to share with your children if you make it so, and not make it drudgery. Make a sort of game of reading aloud.  For older children, leave your kids wanting more the next time. Stop the story at a cliffhanger and they will be begging you to keep reading. Tell them to think about it and try to determine what is about to happen. Before you begin reading again, see what they have come up with as an answer then read the story to determine if their prediction was right. As for the little ones, ask what they think will happen next in the story before you turn a page. You will see the glee in their eyes as they discover new and exciting ways of expressing themselves. The more you “get into” the story with them, the more they will take from the book. This will also lead to them wanting more of the same with the next book the children choose.
9.    Makes Good Sense – Reading aloud to children just makes plain good sense. With the accumulation of all the benefits that have been listed here why wouldn’t you give it a try? Even as an adult I still tend to want to have books read aloud to me and that is why on road trips we sometimes listen to books on tape/cd. You are never too old or young to be read to. That’s why there are book clubs set up all over the place. It’s why libraries and schools use this to intrigue children’s interest in reading. It just makes good sense!
10.    ?

I have purposely left number ten blank because I want to know what you think a benefit of reading aloud to children might be. Make a comment and let me know what the tenth slot should say. This one is totally up to you.

Having Trouble Getting Started Reading Aloud to Children?

Read Aloud Handbook

For those of you that are unsure about how to get started with the process I have come across a valuable resource. Jim Trelease is the author of the bestselling book, “Read Aloud Handbook”. What I like most about this book is that the author not only gives the reader good sound ways to read aloud to children but he also offers a tremendous list of books for children to be read aloud to.

This monumental number of books (almost 1000) includes novels, picture books and anthologies. Wow! I was really taken back by his generous nature in making these recommendations for parents, teachers, and librarians. Anyone who is interested in helping children grow an interest in reading is sure to be pleased and thankful for this source of such viable information. I know I am.

I truly love the motto on the homepage of his website that states, “The goal is to make books into friends, not enemies”. I believe that sums up the caliber of the man. He gives his knowledge so that children will gain a true love of reading. What better gift can we give our children than to become lifelong learners? I for one am adding this to my own personal library of books so that I may spread his message and share with my own grandchildren.

There you have it the Ten Benefits of Reading Aloud to Children. Well, nine for me and one left up to you. Let me know what your tenth benefit is. Hopefully you will decide that this book recommendation is something of interest to you too. Until next time, happy reading aloud.

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