Sunday, February 7, 2010

Why Reading Aloud is so important

"Few children learn to love books by themselves. Someone has to lure them into the wonderful world of the written word; someone has to show them the way."
-Orville Prescott,
A Father Reads to his Children

I have made reading aloud an important facet in our homeschooling. Typically we read aloud for an hour a day. But, regardless of the education method, reading aloud should be a cornerstone of every child's education.

While reading grade level material, or board books aloud is important, and it can be a great moment of intimacy. That isn't the type of reading aloud I am discussing here. The reading aloud I find so important is reading aloud on a higher level than the child is currently reading, and reading highly engaging, timeless, imaginative books that will open the natural curiosity of a child. Reading aloud won't teach a child how to read, it will teach them how to want to read. My children are early elementary and a few of the books we have read aloud this year are The Secret Garden, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, and The Hobbit.

Reading aloud creates the following in a child:
  • greater reading comprehension.
  • create an association for the child reading=pleasure.
  • increased desire to learn to read, or to be reading, thus creating a lifetime learner.
  • build vocabulary from hearing new words used in context.
  • provide a role model for reading. Children who see their parents reading, are more likely to read themselves throughout their lives.
If you are more interested in this subject, I recommend with the absolute highest regard Jim Trelease The Read Aloud Handbook. He outlines in detail the benefits of reading aloud in the first part of the book, and provides reading lists for every age range in the second half of the book.

5 comments:

  1. I picked up a lot of ideas from The Read-Aloud Handbook that we incorporate in our homeschool. That's where our silent reading time came from. Thanks for submitting your post to the Homeschool Showcase this week. I agree with your thoughts completely.

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  2. Thanks Kris! I always enjoy seeing the Homeschool Showcase, I get the best ideas there!

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  3. Love The Read-Aloud Handbook. The thing I need to work on is being a good example. I love to read, but it usually happens after they've gone to bed. I need to make more of an effort to read myself while they are awake, even if it means lots of distractions :)

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  4. I know what you mean Raven, It is very hard to read while the kids are around. Just when you are really getting into a book, you hear a loud crash. It's very distracting.

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  5. Great post...good reminder! :)

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