As a young child, you probably have memories of a parent or grandparent reading a collection of stories aloud before bed. However, in most cases once you were able to read on your own, the art of reading aloud was probably forgotten and replaced with independent silent reading. While reading alone has many benefits, so does reading aloud. The impact of reading aloud on speech and language development lasts well into the teen and even adult years.
The Benefits of Reading Aloud to Your Child
It increases speech and language skills: Children generally have a higher comprehension level than their reading level. This means that a child can understand books and stories being read to them that they would not be able to read themselves. In this way, you can introduce your child to new words, phrasing, and language comprehension.
It strengthens your child’s listening skills: When you are not the one reading, you are forced to listen to understand the story. Reading to your child on a regular basis will help sharpen their overall listening skills.
It sets a positive example: A lot of parenting is leading by example, even to preteens and teenagers. Children who consistently have books and stories read to them tend to enjoy reading more than those who do not.
It provides some one-on-one time: Spending time with your child can sometimes seem impossible, especially with older children and teenagers. Sharing a story helps strengthen your relationship by developing common interests, as well as providing opportunities to share some quality time.
The Benefits of Having Your Child Read Aloud to You
It promotes confidence: Public speaking/reading can be a scary prospect, especially if your child is shy or struggles with their reading skills. Having your child read to you provides a low-pressure situation, which allows them to find their voice and build confidence in their skills.
It increases reading and speech skills: Reading out loud does so much more than just improving reading skills; it also helps build speech skills. Sounding out words or phrases increases understanding, meaning, and context, which in turn introduces your child to new words and helps them build a stronger vocabulary.
It builds intonation skills: Learning to multi-tone your voice is an important skill. Reading silently in your head can often be in monotone. Reading out loud helps encourage your child to use different tones in their voice. This skill can carry over into their speech patterns. Strong intonation skills can also carry over and improve your child’s writing skills.
It improves focus and comprehension: Reading aloud takes more focus than reading silently. Having your child consistently read out loud will strengthen their overall focus. The hands-on approach of reading aloud is a positive way to improve understanding and comprehension in most children. When children read out loud, they are more likely to recall general information and more details about the book or story.
Sources: SpeechBuddy.com | Voices.com | ReachOutandRead.org | TeacherVision.com
Reading Aloud: Not Just for Preschoolers
Shandy Marso, Contributor