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Do I Really Have to Read Aloud with My Child?
Are you concerned that you are going to come across as “one of those ” parents if you read to your children early? Or do you dread when your kindergartener is sent home with a new book nightly to be read aloud? Maybe you can feel the boredom or criticism from your older kids as you read to them. Instead of dwelling on these fears and bad feelings, move past them! Reading to your children has so many positive benefits.
Experts speculate that illiteracy could be greatly reduced and possibly even eliminated, if parents would read three or more stories a day to their children. Children who are read to tend to be early, proficient readers themselves. They also tend to have a better grasp on language skills overall
Studies have shown that kids do not learn as well from videos as they do from a live, personal interaction, even if the videos and person are teaching the same things. With so much technology available to help us teach our children, it’s very easy to give up and hand them a tablet and an app to listen to. While technology certainly has its place, children may not learn as well through a screen as from a real person. Avoid the pressure to give up reading in lieu of a technological substitute!
Some other benefits of reading aloud to your kids:
Reading aloud time is time when you and your child can spend time together. Some kids enjoy associating reading with something else that is positive, maybe a snack or drink or a head rub. Taking the time to put aside everything else, share a book, and focus solely on your child is important and positive at every age!
Study after study have shown that children who have an adult read to them regularly tend to have a much bigger vocabulary than those who were not read to. Children who are read to also exhibit a greater proficiency at learning new words. Read-to kids apparently develop an understanding of various sounds of words and of how words work in general. This sets the stage for easier learning of new words and concepts. Remember a child has to hear a word about 500 times before they can remember it.
Explore the World
When you read aloud to your children, you are often reading about a place, an adventure, or something different than their everyday life. Books are a wonderful way to introduce your children to other cultures, families, history, animals, science and pretty much anything you want to read about.
Love of Learning
Children who have parents that read (and parents that read to them) are more likely to become readers. Teaching them to love and appreciate the written word from a young age sets them up for a love of learning that will span their lifetime. It’s also been said that children who are read to have longer attention spans, which will help them in the classroom.