Read aloud to your kids every day; this is one of the best ways you can set them up for success in Kindergarten and beyond. So many different skills are learned while reading together and it is something you want to continue doing as your children get older. All reading you do together is great, but there are some things you can do while you read that can make it even better!
How to Read Aloud to Your Child
- Choose a book that will capture her attention.
Think about the topic, vocabulary, length, and illustrations and pick out a book that will be interesting to your child. You can do this together at the library or bookstore or you can get recommendations from the librarian. Being motivated to read and discuss books is a big factor in student reading success.
- Look and the pictures and make a prediction.
Before you read page through the book with your child. Look at the illustrations, captions, etc and ask your child to use them as clues to predict what the story is going to be about. Then as you are reading have her change/update her prediction when you come across new information or clues in the text. Making predictions is a reading skill that aids in the comprehension and understanding of stories.
- Start by reading the title, author, and illustrator on the front cover.
Don’t just flip to the first page and start reading. Show her the cover and read the title to her. Tell her who the author and illustrator are and explain what those terms mean. Get her familiar with the parts of the book and comfortable discussing reading terminology.
- Read with expression.
This isn’t the time to worry about looking silly! Engage kids with funny voices, dramatic pauses, or whatever the plot calls for. Reading with expression not only makes the story come alive, it also teaches them about the conventions authors use to convey different messages and helps them remember and comprehend the book.
Recommended Read: This one of our favorites in our home, The Gobble, Gobble, Moooo Tractor Book . We just love how animated we can make it. Even the faces of the animals just says it all.
- Stop while reading to discuss and ask questions
While we read our brains are constantly processing, questioning, and assimilating the new information so we need to start teaching kids how to do that. Stopping to ask questions and make new predictions helps them to develop the comprehension skills they will use for the rest of their lives. Keep it simple at first and show them how to look back in the story or at the pictures to figure out the answer if they are unsure. Feed their curiosity! Help them imagine things.
- Make connections.
After you read a story have your child make a connection between the story and their life. It could be about a similar situation she was in, another book she has read, or something she has seen somewhere else in the world. This takes comprehension to a deeper level and helps to foster a love of reading. A fun way to make story connections and play with reading is to do a book activity about the story after reading it.
Are you looking to:
Help increase your child’s vocabulary?
Instill moral values and lessons?
Improve your conversations with them?
Then look no further than the wonders of reading aloud to your children. As Jim Trelease author of The Read-Aloud Handbook notes: this simple act practically works like a magic pill — a super multivitamin — in the lives of your kids. Reading aloud imparts many tangible benefits (we’ll dig into them below) to your children’s minds and character, but the more intangible rewards are equally important: it’s just plain enjoyable to see the delight on a child’s face when they encounter a good book, and oral reading sessions can really bring the family together — for many children, one of their warmest, most comforting memories is of their father’s voice narrating a tale as they lay snug in their beds.
Benefits of Reading Aloud!
Keeps the reading interest alive even through adulthood:
On average, 100% of Kindergartners are interested in books, reading and being read to! The interest in reading drastically lowers over time. The only way to keep that interest going is to read to your kids even when they have reached the age to be able to read on their own. Listening to stories and narrations at story-time even in adulthood is very comforting for me. Be the exception read aloud for as long as the kids will give you attention.
Affords and allows for bonding time:
It’s a fun way to spend quality time with your kids. Beyond all the above tangible benefits of reading to your kids, it’s just a really fun way to spend time with them. In a world of digital devices and toys, reading to your kids is a (relatively) calm, grounding activity that can be enjoyed by parent and child alike. Whether it’s picture books with your toddler (find ones with fun stories and great artwork, and you’ll enjoy it too, though perhaps less so after you’ve read it 100+ times…but whose counting right?), or short chapter books and novels with your older child, reading is an activity that will inspire and delight both of you.
Influences the capacity to learn:
Read from an early age. Reading aloud more often to your children doesn’t have to be a chore; it’s something you can work into your current routine by incorporating just a few easy habits. Read to kids of all ages. When you’re a parent, it would seem like reading to kids takes place primarily in the sweet spot of about 1 year old to age 5 or 6 when they can start to read on their own. Before that, it feels like you’re sort of just wasting time, and beyond that, they can read for themselves. Right? Wrong! Reading to your kids from a young age and continuing through even the teenage years is the best way to help them understand the power and beauty of the written word.
Instills a lifelong love of reading:
The benefits of reading as an adult are too numerous to list here, and you probably know what they are anyway. Books delight, inform, inspire, and challenge — they serve as life-long mentors and companions. Most adults who have a love affair with reading got started very young, often in their own home.
Build vocabulary and understanding:
Increases vocabulary and an understanding of sophisticated language patterns. When you read aloud to a kid, you build up their storehouse of words and grammatically correct phrases and sentences. This increased vocabulary helps them out in conversation, in their writing, and in their general communication skills
Check out this A-W-E-S-O-M-E Read-Aloud Book List: Free Resource List