I hear it over and over again; “I just stopped reading to my child once he/she got older.” The truth is, as children grow and learn to become independent readers, parents often step aside. Do not get me wrong, independent reading is marvelous and many people (myself included) love getting lost in a book. However, I love to hear a great story; I actually enjoy when parents come to read to my class because I get to be a listener as well. Children adore listening to stories. I have yet to meet someone who disliked being read aloud.
So, why do many parents stop?
One has to do with children growing up for sure, but another BIG reason is because parents feel that if they cannot read perfectly in English, then reading in their native language has no effect. This could not be further away from the truth! I want to take a moment to let you know HOW important it is for you to read to your child in whatever language you are most comfortable with. Maybe he/she may not be able to understand the plot, but he/she will focus on your fluency, your intonation, and/or your passion for the written word. Do not let language get in the way of reading aloud to your children. Even if they are older, they will gain so much from this special moment.
Why Read Aloud?
- I am sure you have thought and know your child’s independent reading level, but what about his/her listening level? Children who cannot access books because of complex vocabulary, can definitely benefit from listening to stories
- Families are busy. School, work, and after school activities at times get in the way of sharing ‘quality’ time with your child. Use this time (either before bed, or after dinner, or any other scheduled slot) and make it count. Books can lead to amazing conversations. Not sure about you, but the number one complain I hear from parents is that once older children get home, they do not share anything!
Parent: How was school?
Parent: What did you learn today?
Parent: What did you do at school?
It does not matter how old your child is or what language you are most proficient at – read! It is another great gift you can give to him/her.
As always, I would love to hear what you do and what your read aloud routine is.
Photo thanks to Betsssssy