As parents we are constantly battling the clock. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done! Our lives are full and it seems like we never check everything off of our to do list. So you may think adding one more item to your already busy schedule is unrealistic. Red Apple Reading would like to offer 8 compelling reasons why you should be reading aloud to your child daily (yes, even if they are already reading independently!).
- They are only young once. Believe it or not, one day your kiddo will be 18 and leaving for college or work. When that day comes, you won’t wish that you had spent more time cleaning the house. Your opportunity to cuddle on the couch and read a book together is now! Take advantage of every opportunity to read with your child – they are only little for a short while.
- You could use the break. Parenting is a 24/7 job. Our work is never done! There will always be clothes to fold, dinner to cook, and book bags to go through. Even parents need a break and sitting down for a few minutes and reading with your kiddo is the perfect pick-me-up. Chances are you will be more productive for having had the rest!
- It’s fun! When one of my children asks me to read to them, it’s hard to stop what I’m doing and switch gears. However, I very often discover that once I sit down and begin reading I find myself enjoying the story. Before I know it I’m caught up in what’s happening to Harry Potter and my son is reminding me it’s time for bed.
- They are watching you. Kids are smart. They understand that the things we give our time to are important to us. When parents consistently make reading time a priority it sends a clear message: reading is important!
- It models fluency. In order for your kiddo to truly comprehend and enjoy what he’s reading, he needs to acquire fluency—the ability to read words and sentences accurately, at a reasonably quick pace, without the need to stop and decode individual words. One way children develop an understanding of fluency is by hearing text read to them. Reading to your child regularly provides a good model of how fluent reading sounds.
- It generates discussion. I have had several good discussions with my children as a direct result of reading aloud to them. Questions such as, “What would you do if you were in this character’s situation?” or “How would you change the ending of this story?” are just a couple of ways to start a great conversation with your child.
- It aids vocabulary development. According to Dr. Mehmet Oz, ” the vocab that a child has at the age of two is proportional to the number of words he’s heard spoken to him before that time.” So when you read aloud to your child, you are exposing him to new words and helping to increase his vocabulary.
- You’re making memories. What will your kid remember about their childhood when they are grown? What will you remember? You will never be sorry you took time to lose yourself in a story with your child. When you read to your child you are making memories that will last a lifetime!
These are just a few of the great reasons why you should be reading aloud to your child. Why not start today making reading time with your kiddo a priority?