Emilie Buchwald said, “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” But reading aloud to a child doesn’t need to stop once they have outgrown your lap. There are many academic and emotional benefits that come along with reading books to your kids as they get older. Here are several reasons why you should read aloud to big kids.
Reasons to Read Aloud to Big Kids
Models Fluent Reading
Every time you open a book and read to a child, you are modeling how to read. They will hear how your voice changes for questions and exclamations, or how you pause when you reach a comma or period. It’s also an opportunity to model what to do when you come to an unfamiliar word.
Expands Vocabulary and Language Development
By choosing books that are above a child’s independent reading level, you open the doors to new vocabulary and more complex sentence structure. This helps build and strengthen a child’s language development. When done well, students begin to experiment with mimicking this style in their writing.
Improves Comprehension and Listening Skills
Research has shown that a child’s listening comprehension is generally far more advanced than their reading comprehension up until eighth grade. Reading aloud allows you to share books with more elaborate plots and dynamic characters. By reading these books to students, you can stop and think aloud, model different strategies, and check for comprehension along the way.
Invites Conversations about Real-World Issues
When issues arise that make us feel uncomfortable, it can be hard to find the right words. And as children get older, some start to turn to their peers rather than their parents or guardians. But when you share a book about a character facing a difficult issue, it opens the conversation to help kids work through their own ideas and feelings about what is happening. Then you can focus on helping your child decide on how they might handle things and offer coaching, as needed.
Expands Reading Interests
Many children fall in love with a particular character, author, or genre. Reading aloud provides opportunities to introduce new texts that students might not select on their own.
Builds Relationships and Encourages a Love of Reading
It seems like everyone is constantly on the go these days. People are busy, and carving out time for reading can be a challenge. It doesn’t help that books must compete with devices and technology, either. But books have a way of bringing people together. By reading aloud to big kids, you are building that connection one page at a time. And, when you take the time to read books to big kids, they begin to see how enjoyable reading can be. This time spent together helps create lifelong readers and lasting memories.
Does your read aloud time need a refresh? Check out these Read Aloud Tips.
Need a book on a specific topic? Check out my book lists.
Ready to dive in to your favorite chapter book, but need activities to pair with it? Take a look here.