Reading aloud has always been a huge family value in our home.
Practicing reading for fun at home not only prepares children for school but also creates strong bonds with parents.
Even though your children could be old enough to read by themselves, having that time together where you read aloud to your child is still important.
Benefits of Reading Aloud For Kids
There are so many benefits for children when parents spend the time to read aloud to them. Reading skills are very important to master the school years but it goes beyond school and deep into life as well. Reading is a life skill that is required these days. Starting to read at an early age (it is NEVER too early) is very beneficial as it gets children used to the idea of books being fun.
While there are many benefits to reading aloud, my favorite one would be the relationship building that happens during these precious moments. You can read to teenagers too, not just babies and toddlers. It may seem like a strange concept, but it’s kind of nice getting read to, even if you know how to read.
Reading Aloud Helps Expands Vocabulary
When you read different styles of literature to your children, they learn new words, phrases, and even ways of speaking. It’s kind of like bringing new culture into their life without actually traveling.
Learning new words and expanding vocabulary doesn’t just help with creating brilliant language arts articles for school. It helps with landing job interviews in the future and even creates new relationships by impressing strangers at dinner parties. You literally never know when that cool world you learned when you were 13 will help you out in life.
Helps Learn Moral Lessons
As children, morals are something that they learn as they grow. Talking about a book you are reading aloud can help start those conversations about right and wrong moral values. It is never too early to start teaching proper morals to young minds.
I love it when my son feels proud of a superhero in a book because the hero did something that helped someone. It shows him that good actions should be celebrated and really hits him in the feels, so he knows that doing good and being good is what the world needs from him.
Studies Show Reading Aloud Improves Test Scores
There are studies available for you to read about this, but the concept of reading aloud is said to help strengthen memory muscles, which in turn helps with processing and remembering school assignments.
Studies also show that children who learn to read at home before starting kindergarten are more likely to graduate high school than those who only read at school.
I really believe that to be true mostly because my husband and I are an example of this. I grew up reading at home and at school and graduated high school with honors, whereas my darling husband did not grow up reading at home and as a result dropped out of high school by grade 11.
Even though there is a great debate on whether college is important or not in today’s economy, it is still important to graduate high school in order to get a decent-paying job. Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule and some do make it without a high school diploma, but to be safe, we want the best for our kids and we want them to graduate.
Reading Aloud Starts Important Conversations
One of the best things about reading aloud with kids is the questions that pop into their heads during a reading session. Kids really do say the darndest things, and it all starts important conversations where they learn from you.
Even if you do not know the answer to all their questions, it is still really interesting to get to know your children’s true heart and where their curiosity lies. It’s the simplest way to engage in powerful conversations.
Reading In General Builds Empathy
You don’t have to read aloud to get to know the feelings of empathy towards characters in a story, but sometimes it helps to hear the emotion in someone’s voice when storytelling.
Teaching children empathy is not super easy, as it is quite an abstract concept (in my opinion, I’m not a teaching expert) but having a character feel sadness in a story and having my child feel the same sadness for them, is a powerful way to close the bridge on the explanation of empathy.
Strengthens Love For Books
Reading aloud to children strengthens their love for books and stories.
Imagine Belle from Beauty and the Beast, she loved reading stories. They took her to a different setting where she could lose her current life and dive into a different adventure every time she opened a new book. She is always so excited and passionate about her books!
This kind of passion is amazing, and I would love to see more kids in the world act this way about books.
Creates Quality Bonding Time
My favorite benefit of reading aloud to my kids is the quality bonding time it gives me. Sometimes life gets super busy and even though I “saw” and “heard” my children all day long, sometimes I don’t get that chance to connect.
Having the extra time to really hear my kids and have those riveting conversations during storytime is the best thing in the world. Not to mention it is such a special time, that kids will remember when they grow up, and maybe even share the tradition with their own kids.
Tips for Successfully Reading Aloud to Your Kids
Read to kids of all ages
You can read to any child, any age. Starting from a baby in a womb randing to a teenager almost ready to move out of your house. You don’t need to have a school-aged child to be able to share a story.
Reading with teenagers is a great way to stay connected during a time where most teens just want to stay away from mom and dad and isolate themselves.
There is no right or wrong age to read aloud to someone, you can read to anyone!
You Don’t Need A Ton Of Time
Sometimes parents stop reading to children because there just doesn’t seem to be enough time in a day to do so.
Let me assure you that 10 minutes a day, a few times a week is all you need to create those bonds and build those brains.
You can always take advantage of audiobooks if you cannot read to your children yourself for any reason (teenagers maybe? Working Late?)
Even though this takes away from creating bonds, it does still have a lot of value in developing language skills and using imagination.
Have Books At Home
If you want your children to love reading, have lots of books at home. If children see you reading they will read as well. It’s always nice to come to a home with many books, it gives off a homey feeling that’s warm and fuzzy..for me anyway!
By the way, here are my absolute favorite Christmas books you should totally stock up on.
If you are reading aloud to your child or your child is reading aloud to you, have patience in the fact that it takes time to learn how to read and process stories. It takes time to be able to express feelings about stories and even learn to use the imagination. Don’t set the expectations too high for reading daily if your children are not interested. Slowly introduce the process and once a day, they will love it.
To sum it all up, reading is amazing. Reading is exciting. Reading should be done every day in every home. Ok maybe that’s a little extreme, but it has so many benefits academically and for family life. It is definitely something that everyone should think about practicing in their homes.
Do you read aloud at home to your kids? How old are they?