Reading aloud is critical for literacy development. Study after study tells us that. Reading to our children at a young age is an important pre-reading activity for their young minds. It helps not only with language development, but also with overall brain and idea development. That doesn't stop when your child masters the ABCs. No matter the age of your children, reading to them is a wonderful family -- and learning -- activity.
Reading to your kids is not just for the preschool set -- and just because your child can read (and read) well on their own doesn't mean your job as a designated reader is done. Older kids -- fourth, fifth and sixth graders and older! -- still benefit from listening to a parent read aloud. Books with more complex language structure, rich vocabulary and serious subject matter are perfect for reading to and with an older child. Not only does it help further evolve a child's literacy, but it opens up paths for communication between you.
Reading at bedtime is a wonderful sleepy time ritual, but take the reading aloud out of the bedroom. Oh, keep reading at bedtime -- but read aloud at other times of the day, too. Try reading aloud to your kids at the breakfast table. They may be a little groggy (heck, maybe you are, too), but hearing the words of that classic book you are sharing with them helps awaken their minds so they are ready for the school day.
You know the reading guidelines say read to your child for 20 minutes a day -- but when was the last time you actually did? Chores and activities get in the way, and if you sat on your child's bed that long at the end of a busy day, you'd like be snoring before she is! But length of reading is important, so get a cup of tea and set a timer and make sure you read to your child for at least 20 minutes day, if not more. Or for significantly longer a few times a week. It will make a difference for both of you, both in terms of the books you will be reading together and in terms very high quality bonding time.
You don't have to get through a whole book in a sitting each time you read to your child. Introduce chapter books early for a continuity in your reading over many days or even weeks, and you'll both want to get back to reading together to see what happens next. This is a great way to introduce classic literature to your child! Moby Dick, here you come!
And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .
SheKnows is making some changes!