I don’t know why, but it seems like parents quit reading to their kids as soon as they can read on their own. But kids of all ages benefit from being read to.
Consider these 4 reasons to read aloud to your kids long after they begin to read on their own:
1. They need to hear fluent readers. Remember the modeling I talked about? Kids need to hear an experienced reader from time to time, so that they can emulate them.
2. It is a great bonding experience. The 5 Love Languages of Childrenoutlines 5 different ways our children express love and feel loved. Reading aloud to them covers at least three of them: quality time, acts of service, and physical touch (if you’re sitting near each other.)
3. A child’s listening comprehension level is often 3 grade levels above their independent reading level. That means that your 2nd grader may be able to read beginning chapter books on his own, but he may be interested in The Chronicles of Narnia or Harry Potter. (This is especially important for an older child who struggles with reading. What if your 5th grader reads at a 2nd grade level? Trust me, he’s tired of Junie B. Jones by then!) Give your child the gift of a good story – read it to them.
4. It’s more fun! Learning to read is hard work. It’s no wonder many kids don’t like it! But listening to a great story read by someone else (even a book on tape!) can be much more rewarding for kids.
(This post is part of a Secrets from a Teacher to Make You a Better Parent, a part of the write31days.com challenge. The best way to keep up with this series is to subscribe via email here.)