Why Reading Aloud with Your Children Every Day Is Necessary
Reading is one of the most important activities in children’s lives because it builds their minds. The best gift you can give your children is to start reading aloud to them when they’re very young. Even before they understand what you’re saying or know how to read the words themselves, the importance of reading aloud is paramount.
As your children grow, you’ll assume the role of listeners when they read aloud to you. They’ll pronounce words and find meaning in sentences. There are many benefits to reading that don’t always seem obvious at story time. However, they’re more important than you might think.
When your children are old enough to read on their own, that doesn’t mean you should stop reading aloud to them. The benefits are in both reading and listening to another person. For example, you can read together or take turns reading. You can let your child read at school and then, in the evening, listen to them read to you and then read to them too.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… The man who never reads lives only one.”
– George R.R. Martin –
Why do you have to read aloud to your children?
Here are some of the benefits of reading aloud to your children. This way, if you haven’t already established this habit, you can get started. Better late than never!
Reading aloud to children increases their vocabulary
No matter what the subject of the book you’re reading is, it will expose your children to all sorts of new vocabulary. As a result, their language will increase, even if you don’t notice it at the time. This gives them an intellectual edge and will help them do better in school and in life.
Language patterns when reading aloud
Children learn to speak primarily by listening to their parents’ use of language. So, when you read to your children, they’ll listen to proper language structures and grammar usage, and naturally imitate them.
Children don’t learn about verbs, prepositions, conjunctions or adverbs out of thin air. Reading provides them with vocabulary that will allow them to recognize sentence components when they have to study it in school. Not only will they have a wider lexicon, but also good speaking and grammar skills.
While children are reading or listening to stories, they’re thinking. This is the perfect time to ask them questions and develop their critical thinking skills. For a few minutes a day, as you listen to your child read aloud, or when you read to them, ask different kinds of questions about the story.
This way, they can analyze and give their opinions on different topics. And, at the same time, they’ll think of different solutions to the problems that are arising in the story you’re reading. With the help of these questions, your child will listen and analyze the content instead of listening passively.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
– Dr. Seuss –
The number one way to encourage children to learn to read is to read to them. Children learn from their parents before anyone else. If they see you reading, they’ll want to imitate you and learn to read too.
Not only are they watching you perform an action (reading) and wishing they could as well, but by reading with them, they realize the joy and fun of reading a story. As a result, they’ll want to learn to understand the words themselves.
Reading improves language skills, which, in turn, improves writing skills. Not only will children understand correct sentence structure and be able to use parts of speech correctly, but their increased vocabulary will help them write creatively.
Reading stimulates the imagination. Therefore, your little one’s writing will come alive when that imagination comes to life in their stories.
Bonding time when reading aloud
The time you spend together is precious. After a long day of school, sports, homework, and many other activities, reading is a safe way to slow down and make sure you spend quality, uninterrupted time with your children. Because it usually takes place in a quiet space, without distractions, and with only you participating, it’s perfect quality time.
Every good story is full of many opportunities to solve problems. The characters find themselves in all sorts of situations and look for solutions in order to resolve them.
Children are already familiar with solving problems in their own lives. However, reading gives them the experience of discovering how others solve life’s daily challenges. As a result, it develops their ability to analyze situations and act appropriately.
Ask your children to give you solutions to the characters’ problems before you read the end of the story. That way, you’ll be stimulating their ability to come up with new ideas.
Analyze the decisions made by the characters and see if your children agree. They may even have their own alternative endings to the story. Life is full of challenges and reading is a wonderful way to learn how to overcome them.
When children listen to stories, they increase their ability to focus on what they hear. As they become captivated by the details of a story, they strive to listen a little more, thus increasing their attention span over time. The more interesting and captivating a book is to a child, the more closely they’ll pay attention while reading it.
Reading can prolong a child’s overall attention span. This extends to other areas and helps them perform better in school and when working on activities. Unlike screen watching, which negatively affects the brain, reading stimulates actual concentration. Children need to listen, read and think about what they’re reading or listening to.
As you can see, these are some of the benefits of reading stories to your children every day. They are all very important benefits for the life of your little ones, and they’ll grow a lot both personally and intellectually.
“So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install a lovely bookshelf on the wall.”
– Roald Dahl –
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Bilbao, A. (2015) El cerebro del niño explicado a los padres. Editorial: Plataforma Actual.