How to Read Aloud with Your Children
Reading aloud is the foundation for literacy development. It provides children with a demonstration of phrased, fluent reading, as well as fueling the desire to have a love for reading. In addition, a read-aloud can introduce new vocabulary, concepts, and text structures in context, allowing children to experience the joys of reading. Effective read-aloud experiences contribute to literacy development, by exposing students to the power of language.
- Choose books appropriate to children’s interests
By selecting books that cater to your children’s specific interests like soccer, horses, or dinosaurs, you can help them become engaged in reading. They will also be more likely to explore similarly themed books independently. In that sense, reading might not seem like a chore, but could be viewed as a tool that can help your children gain more understanding about a specific subject or hobby.
- Read books that are relevant to your children’s developmental, emotional and social levels
Children need to be exposed to a wide range of stories and books in order to see how characters handle fears, interests, and concerns that are similar to their own.
Reading stories that your children can relate to helps them make connections to their own life experiences, other books they have read, and universal concepts such as bullying, friendship, and achieving goals.
- Stop periodically to ask thoughtful questions
Keep your children engaged while reading aloud by occasionally stopping to ask open-ended questions about what is happening in the story. Be sure to follow-up on their answers by asking, “Why do you think that?” as an additional way to create a continual dialogue about the books that you are reading together.
- Read with animation and expression
You can help bring the story alive when reading aloud to your children when you read with animation. Using voices to differentiate between different characters and reading in a lively and animated tone can help your children become more interested in the story and continue reading stories in the future.
- Connect the read-aloud to your children’s school and independent reading
In your children’s academic career, they may be asked to connect and relate ideas from one story to another. Reading stories around a specific topic that your children are studying in school can help them begin the process of comparing and contrasting stories.
What are some additional tips that you recommend when reading aloud to your children?