Our children are encouraged to read at home and depending on what year they are in, the amount of time they spend reading every day varies. My daughter, in year 2, has to read at least 15 minutes every day whereas, my daughter who is in year 5, has to do at least 30 minutes.
As my year 5 daughter in is now a bit older, I expect her to do some reading by herself but she will often ask me if she can read to me and I really do see the benefits of listening to her read aloud. My younger daughter often likes reading alone too but also likes to read aloud to myself or her dad.
I have compiled a list of reasons why it might be a good idea to get your child to read aloud to you. Here are my top 10 reasons:
- Your child will have an opportunity to learn new and sophisticated words
- Books are a great way of discovering new words and adding to their ever expanding vocabulary. It’s always a good idea to write these new words down and think about how they can be used to create new sentences, that way your child able to make improvements in their writing skills as well as their reading.
- Perfect time for bonding
- It can be so easy to think of this time as a chore, however, listening to your child read can be a wonderful opportunity to have some real quality, bonding time with your child. They do want to read to us and really enjoy the feedback and seeing how proud we are of them. So, switch off the TV, put your phone away and get cosy on the sofa and give your child your full attention.
- Reading aloud can increase your child’s attention span and their confidence!
- Now that your child has your attention, they want to keep it! So, they will read as long as you continue to show an interest and ask questions. If your child is only reading 4 to 5 pages each time, you could slowly build on that and do 6 pages the following week allowing a gradual increase in the attention span. I’m sure that will help in school too and the teachers will be thanking you! With the practise of reading aloud with you, your child will grow in confidence and when they have to read in front of the class or during guided reading, that confidence will shine!
- Develop a love of reading
- We all know that it’s important for our children to read and to really enjoy it, so getting them to read aloud will help but, what more can you do? You could read aloud too, remember children learn from what they see and you are their role model. They will imitate you and reading is a good behaviour to be imitating!
- Gaining new knowledge – learning new information
- Whether the book your child is reading is fiction or non-fiction books, there is always valuable information, facts, morals, jokes, new words and even opportunities to improve literacy skills. Take the opportunity to ask questions about the book your child has just read, what they liked/ disliked, what they learnt, what they would do if they were a particular character, the possibilities are endless. If you are familiar with Bloom’s Taxonomy, you could work your way up the different levels and get your child thinking at the more higher levels where they are evaluating and analysing the books they have read, but of course, make sure it is suitable for the age and ability of your child.
- A great opportunity for practising phonics
- If you’re not aware, phonics is a method used to teach reading and writing using sounds and the alphabet. Our children are expected to hear, identify, and manipulate these sounds and correlate them so they can read and write words. When you get your child to read aloud, you are able to hear if your child has been able to use this method and provide support and encouragement where they need it.
- Your child will become familiar with the printed word
- Children become familiar with pictures in books from a very young age. Soon they learn that the words are linked to the pictures on the page. They are able to start predicting what will happen next and receive confirmation of their predictions in the text, thus familiarising themselves with how print looks on a page.
- Building literacy skills
- Literacy skills are vital for good reading and writing. Reading aloud helps you to understand whether your child can sound out words correctly, use speech and other forms of punctuation, read with fluency and have a good understanding of what they have read. Fundamentally, good reading skills will lead to good writing skills.
- Storytelling and comprehension
- Getting your child to read a story to you and then retell the story will show that your child is able to summarise the story as well as recall what they have read. They can also tell the story again but with their own adaptations allowing them to make use of their imagination. You then get an opportunity to really dig deep and get your child to think carefully about what they have read, ask questions and if you are like me, create a little worksheet!!!
- Development of language skills
- Hopefully, you will be able to build on new vocabulary as well as phrases and sayings. Try to adopt new words in your conversations and discuss them with your child, encourage them to use them when they are talking to you. They more your child reads, the better developed their language skills will be.
I hope this has been useful to you. Next time your child needs to read to you, make it fun and remember the many benefits to reading aloud. I would really like to hear about your experiences of reading with your child and I would love to know if you have any hints or tips of your own to share. Please use the comments section below and happy reading!!
The books below are ideal for reading aloud with your family.
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