I came across an article recently that confirmed how important it was to read aloud to your kids at home. With summer coming and school being out soon, it’s a good time to start a habit of reading aloud to keep your kids’ minds working.
Your style of reading matters a lot. Children will get the most from their experience if you read aloud with an interactive reading style rather than just a labeling and telling style. Their participation gives them more opportunity to learn something new. Coming up with an idea, saying it out loud, and discussing it deepens the process. The list below goes into a little more detail:
Reading interactively with your kids:
– helps them learn to ask questions and understand their world better
– creates a personal warm connection to reading
– helps them connect to other characters and situations outside of themselves
– makes reading something that can be shared
– provides exposure to many different types of stories, illustrations, writing styles
Tips For Reading Aloud To Your Kids
The Reading Is Fundamental website offers some tips for reading aloud to your kids. For example, it’s best to save most of the questions until after you have finished reading. This allows them to absorb the story as it unfolds with less interruption. Occasionally, I find it useful stop in the middle of the story a strategic times to ask a quick question about what they think will happen next. I try to keep this short so it doesn’t break up the flow.
My oldest daughter hates this, but I purposely stop at a cliffhanger moment when reading a longer book to her. As the tips suggest, this does peak her interest in continuing next time and prompts her to think about the story after we’ve stopped reading.
The weather has warmed up and the kids all seem to want to be outside more than anything. But it’s still important to prioritize just a little reading sometime before they go to bed. The reading habits you start with them now will be a gift for their whole life.