One of my favorite things to do is reading aloud to children. As a former classroom teacher I read stories aloud several times a week to my class. My love of reading aloud comes from my parents reading stories to me and from my 6th grade teacher. My teacher read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Knights of the Round Table and Arabian Nights aloud to the class. She read a certain number of pages a few times a week. These were books that I might not have picked up on my own. Reading Aloud quickly became the favorite part of my day.
Now as a picture book author I get to read my books aloud at bookstores, libraries and classrooms. It never gets old for me.
Whether you are an elementary school teacher, a homeschool educator, or a loving parent, you can make a huge impact on children by reading aloud to them.
Whether you read aloud to your baby, a preschooler, or a teenager, you can have a positive influence on that child. Here are some of the benefits of reading aloud to children.
When we read aloud, children hear new words. They develop a listening vocabulary. Listening vocabulary refers to the words needed to understand what we hear. Children also learn the correct pronunciation of unfamiliar words. Several studies on literacy skills have shown that a well-developed vocabulary is linked to better school performance.
Improves Comprehension and Active Listening
Listening to a story leads to more intense and deeper information processing. Reading aloud fosters active listening. Active listening allows children to collect information to analyze and reflect upon it. Research suggests that learning how to listen is a critical element in learning how to read well.
Reading fluently means reading effortlessly, at the proper rate, accurately, and with appropriate rhythm and expression. Fluency is often considered the bridge between decoding (understanding the relationship between letters and sounds) and comprehension. When we read aloud to children, we model fluent reading.
Fosters A Love of Books
When we read aloud to children, we are sharing with them an activity that can be treasured for the rest of their lives. We are demonstrating that reading is not just something to “get through,” but something to enjoy. Reading aloud to children motivates them to read independently for pleasure. The more that they are read to, the more they will want to read.
Creates Engaged Readers
Reading aloud to children (especially with expression) pulls a child into the magic of a book. Reading can be a social experience, giving them the chance to share their feelings about books. A story read aloud allows children to experience the world through someone else’s eyes. Books fuel their curiosity, inspire connections and provide enjoyment.
Social and Emotional Skills
Reading can help children learn important social and emotional skills, such as empathy, compassion, and problem-solving. Reading a story creates space for children to imagine themselves inside the story. This allows them to develop empathy as they experience the lives of other characters and can identify emotions, develop empathy, make connections and builds relationships.
Reading can have a calming effect on children, reducing stress and promoting a sense of relaxation and well-being. Reading aloud can help strengthen the bond between children and caregivers, providing a special time for connection and interaction.
Reading to young children is not only enjoyable, but also an important way to promote language development, cognitive skills, and a love of learning. Whether you have experience working with children or are simply passionate about promoting literacy, volunteering to read to children can really make a difference in a child’s life.
With gratitude …
I am so glad you’re here and I thank you for taking the time to read this post. I am grateful that I can share my writing journey with you.
I’m looking forward to helping you as a children’s book writer in any way that I can. Speaking of helping — please leave a comment below and let me know what questions you have about picture book writing.
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A request …
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