Jim Trelease, author of the fantastic Read Aloud Handbook, says the most important thing to KEEP doing is reading aloud to your kids. Most of us read to our kids when they are little, but after they become readers themselves, do we need to keep reading?
Trelease says YES.
Because listening comprehension is greater than reading comprehension, reading aloud is very beneficial. Trelease says keep reading as long as they will let you. (He made a habit of reading newspaper articles even to his high school aged kids.)
Benefits of Reading Aloud
- Builds vocabulary
- Conditions the child’s brain to associate reading with pleasure
- Creates background knowledge
- Provides a reading role model
- Plants the desire to read.
- Opens the door for some great discipleship conversations with your children.
- Teaches discernment.
A great way to do this is to start a short novel with your kids and read a chapter a day or more. Read biographies. Read exciting missionary stories. Find something they are interested in and explore the topic together. Usborne Books has a series of Illustrated Stories including Classics, Shakespeare, Greek Myths, Fairy Tales, and Dickens. They also have King Arthur, Heidi, Alice in Wonderland and more. True adventure stories are also a big hit.
Books must be accessible; Trelease says studies show that students who have at least 100 pieces of printed material in their homes statistically perform better academically than those with less. Generally, homeschool families don’t struggle with having too few books on the shelf, but we can struggle with taking the time to read them sometimes.
The family time benefit of reading aloud can be incredible. Setting aside those hours to go on virtual adventures together into other lands and other times can build some of the best memories your family will look back on when your kiddos have grown up. Our family has ventured to Narnia, Middle Earth, The Prairie, Arrethrae, and countless other places together. We have a shared vocabulary based on those stories. We still talk about some of our favorite parts, and those times of reading together allowed us to slow down and just “BE” together. What a great blessing in this sometimes frantic world.
Does your family read aloud together? What are some of your favorites? Leave a comment below to share your best ideas, and we’ll compile them into a resource sin the days ahead.
Looking for more reading resources and ideas? Check out these from the Teach Them Diligently Blog Vault:
Some of our family’s very favorite read-alouds have been the Chuck Black books– Starting with the Kingdom Series, followed by the Knights Series, and then the War of the Realms, your family will enjoy some great stories and learn some deep lessons along the way. The conversations these books have opened up for our family have been incredible, and we have read and listened to each of these books multiple times through the year. We highly recommend them! Make sure you plan to hear Chuck at Teach Them Diligently 2018, too! You’ll be glad you did. ;)
Denise Eide of Logic of English wrote “That’s An Exception” The Source of Struggling Readers and Spellers, which includes 7 tips and ideas for helping those struggling to read or understand the rules of reading.
Shawn Lamb of Allon Books wrote “Using Spiritual Discernment in Reading Fiction,” which will give you some principles to build your conversations on as you are reading aloud with your family.
Parts of this article were contributed by Usborne Books. Check out the books at www.Usborne-Books.com and stop by our booth at all Teach Them Diligently Conventions for some great specials and free book drawings. We would be glad to help you find just the right resources for your home.