Reading Aloud at Home

Reading is a lifelong skill that will enable children to read for fun, as part of a job, or to gain knowledge. One way to giving your child a great start for reading is to read aloud to them on a regular basis starting at a young age. 

In fact, a “Department of Education analysis found that children who were read to at least three times a week by a family member were almost twice as likely to score in the top 25% in reading than children who were read to less than three times a week” (Doherty, 2015).

Oftentimes parents feel that when their child begins to read on their own they should not read aloud to them anymore. However, it is recommended that caregivers read aloud to their child long after they’ve become readers themselves.   

Sharing books is a terrific way to build important literacy skills, including listening skills, vocabulary, comprehension — and an increased awareness of how stories are "built." – regardless of your child’s age.

Tips for reading aloud at home to children of all ages: 

  • Recognize that there are no "right" or "wrong" ways to read a wordless book. One of the wonderful benefits of using wordless books is how each child creates his own story (or stories!) from the same pictures.
  • Take a picture walk through the pages of the book. Enjoy the illustrations, which are often rich with detail. Look carefully at the expressions on characters' faces, the setting, and the use of color. Talk to each other about what you see. These conversations will enrich the storytelling. Help your child expand his/her sentences or thoughts by encouraging them to add information from the illustration's details. One way to encourage more details is by asking "W" questions: Who? Where? When? Why?
  • Go back through the book a second time and get ready for some great storytelling!
  • Consider going first and acting as a model for your child. Ham it up! Have characters use different voices, add sound effects, and use interesting words in your version of the book.
  • Whether it be a picture book or a chapter book, talk to your child about the problem and solution. Incorporate character traits and make connections.  Determine the message or lesson the author was trying to teach the reader.
  • Read aloud to older children to model fluency and build vocabulary.
  • Choose the right story to read at each age that can help to build empathy and awareness of the world around them.
  • Introduce your children to series books that will entice them to continue reading. 
  • Choose books with characters that you love to encourage their love of reading.
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