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The Benefits of Reading Aloud

Reading aloud to children is one of the best ways to help them discover the joy of reading. And it's never too early—or too late—to start. Research shows that families play an important role in children's reading success. By reading aloud with your children and encouraging them to read on their own, you are helping them become better readers, better listeners, and better students.

Bonding time

Reading is more than just making sense of words on a page. It's an adventure! It's a chance to explore new places, discover new things, and meet new people. And it's something you and your children can do together. When you read aloud together, children learn that reading is important. And most of all they learn that reading is enjoyable!

Reading aloud is a special bonding time. You'll get to know each other better as you talk about what you read. Make a commitment to read aloud at least once a day at an established time. And remember to have fun! The more fun kids have reading aloud, the more they will love books and want to read them.

Reading more advanced stories

A common mistake is for parents to stop reading aloud when their children have begun to read on their own. Children can understand books being read to them that are three to four grade levels more advanced than books they can read on their own. Reading together improves their reading ability, vocabulary, listening skills, and confidence and sense of well-being.

Take turns reading paragraphs. Help your child with words she has trouble reading. Ask her what word would make sense in the story, or supply the correct word so she can move on and read the rest of the sentence. Be encouraging. Tell your child he is doing a good job. Talk about the story as you read together. Ask questions that allow your child to express ideas and opinions.

Benefits of reading aloud

-- provides a bonding experience for parents and children

-- introduces children to the world around them

-- allows children to ask questions and parents to answer and share experiences

-- develops listening skills

-- builds the foundation to become strong, independent readers

-- improves language and speech development, vocabulary, and the pronunciation of new words

-- promotes curiosity, creativity and imagination

-- develops children's ability to express themselves more confidently, easily, and clearly, both in speech and in writing

-- encourages meaningful two-way parent-child conversation