5 Reasons You Should Read Aloud to Older Children
Most parents know how important it is to read aloud to young children. Thy spend those early years cuddled up around much loved picture books that the child and parent have memorized. But when children are able to read independently, they stop reading aloud to them. This is a mistake! It has been proven that reading aloud is beneficial to children of all ages. Here are five reasons you should continue to read aloud to older children.
1. Read Aloud for Vocabulary
Beginning readers are limited to reading simple books that contain sight words they have learned and simple words that they can sound out. These types of stories are great to build the confidence of beginning readers, but they do not teach children new vocabulary. When parents read aloud to their children, they can read them stories to them that are at a higher reading level than the children can comprehend on their own. These books are more complex and use a greater variety of vocabulary. Hearing new vocabulary in the context of a story will teach children new words and their meanings.
2. Read Aloud for Pronunciation
Often when a child is reading on his own, he will come across words he has never seen before. Usually readers are able to figure out the meaning of new words by the context. But reading solo does not teach a child how to pronounce the word properly. I cannot tell you how many times my children have used a word in conversation they have learned while reading but had no idea how to say it. When you read aloud, your children will hear the words and learn the correct pronunciation.
3. Read Aloud to Savor Language
When children (or adults) read silently, they tend to speed read, skipping over words they don’t know and leaving out little words that do not seem important. However, when they listen to a story being read aloud to them they hear every word and are able to absorb more of the story. They are also hearing varied sentence structure and different language patterns. As they are listening to the story being read, they are learning what good writing is made up of. They will be able to use what they have learned to improve their own writing skills.
4. Read Aloud for Life Lessons
Great stories have lessons that we can learn from. When children are reading on their own, they pay more attention to the overall plot and may miss the significance of some of the themes that are contained within the story. Reading aloud gives you the opportunity to take a closer look at those lessons and discuss them as a family.
5. Read Aloud for Family Time
My favorite reason for reading aloud is the time we get to spend together as a family. In my homeschool, I have a range of ages from kindergarten to 9th grade. While I teach the middle children together, my older children have started to work independently, and I also teach my youngest separately. Our read aloud time is a time when we all can be together during the school day listening to and discussing our chosen story. Those have become our favorite moments in our homeschool day.