How Reading Aloud to Kids at Any Age Makes a Difference
Having a child read a book on their own is the end goal for any teacher or parent. Reading aloud is a building block to help a child get there. It may seem contradictory. You want them to be able to identify letters and words, so how does this benefit them if they aren’t looking at a piece of text? Interestingly enough, it has a more significant impact on the way a child learns new words, associates meaning to them, and build their comprehension skills.
Think reading aloud only applies to kids under five? Think again. Here’s why reading aloud to a kid at any age can make a difference in the way they learn.
Strengthens comprehension skills
Rebecca Bellingham explains in her TEDx talk that when adults read aloud to their kids, you do the decoding of words and vocabulary while the kids get the freedom to think. They get access to imagine the story and to learn new information. This helps kids when they read alone to strengthen their comprehension skills. Bellingham says, “Even when kids are reading on their own, reading aloud to them has a tremendous impact on their independent reading lives. Because when kids go back to their own books, they know that words should come alive in their brains as they read.” Have fun with the story you are reading and “act” it out. The way you fluctuate and pronounce words impacts its emotion and a child’s feelings towards it.
Amplifies vocabulary and language skills
Building vocabulary skills at a young age has an impact on how well a child reads later on in life. The more they hear a word in a piece of text, the more likely that word will stick in their minds. To really optimize this time and increase a child’s vocabulary, skim through the text beforehand and choose words that are essential for comprehension and vocabulary development. These words should be fun or interesting to say, rousing a child’s curiosity to want to use these words more in their everyday lives.
Reconnect with one another
Reading aloud to kids gives us the chance to pull them away from electronic devices and gives us the chance to reconnect again. It teaches them how to talk and listen to one another. The simple act of looking at one another in the eye is an outcome of reading aloud to children, which is huge in our day and age of being overwhelmed with technology. The same goes for adults. Spending time with your children to read aloud is a chance to reconnect with one another.
If you’re having trouble picking out an excellent book to read, check out some book recommendations we’ve offered in previous articles. You’re sure to find something fun to read with your child.