Most people are aware that it is important to read aloud to your children. Open up just about any parenting magazine and you will come across articles listing the many benefits of reading aloud to your child. Often parents stop reading to children once a child is old enough to read on their own, believing this will be the best way to improve their child’s reading fluency and comprehension. According to Educator and author, Jim Trelease, “A child’s reading level doesn’t catch up to his listening level until eighth grade.” (Complete article by Jim Trelease can be found at http://www.greatschools.org/students/7104-read-aloud-to-children.gs) In addition to helping your child expand their vocabulary and improve their comprehension you get the added benefit of sharing your favorite books with your child.
Several months ago I had the opportunity to share one of my favorite books with my sixth grade daughter. We read “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton. (Spoiler Alert) We laughed about the funny names and we cried when Johnny and Dally died. The book gave us the opportunity to talk about social class and the different groups of kids in school. We did more than just read a book. We made text-to-self connections, text-to-world connections and I was able to remember how I felt and reacted when I read the book for the first time over 30 years ago.
If you think you don’t have the time, think again. Go to the library and get the books on CD or try a service like www.audilble.com. You can listen to the books in your car while you are on the way to soccer practice, ballet class or dropping off the kids at summer camp. If you belong to Goodreads.com they offer lists for children’s books. Remember, since you are reading aloud, you can choose books one or two grades above your child. Here is the link to Scholastic Books Top 100 Books: http://www.scholastic.com/100books/pdf/Top_100_Childrens_Books_of_All_Time.pdf