Reading Aloud To Your Older Kids
There are so many amazing benefits to reading aloud to your kids. Can you picture your 4 or 5 year old snuggling up while you read the story? Well, experts assert that you should be doing the SAME for your older kids, too.
Preschool children and those in first and second grades are learning orally. They cannot yet read. It is from listening to parents talk that they are learning vocabulary. And better than that is reading to them. When speaking we tend to use half-sentences and quick phrases – but in reading, the language is rich, complete sentences are used, vocabulary is richer.
A child with a large vocabulary does better in school than the child who has little familiarity with words and vocabulary.
Reading Aloud To Your Older Kids – At what age is your older child listening?
“A child’s reading level doesn’t catch up to listening level until eighth grade“, states writer Connie Matthiessen in her article on the findings of famed Educator Jim Trelease. Her article “Hidden Benefits of Reading Aloud” delves into the idea that a youth in fifth grade can enjoy the story, and more complicated plot, of a book designed for a seventh grader. That means they can “listen” at a higher level when read to. That opens a very, very large bounty of good things.
The Excellent Things About Reading Aloud To Your Older Child
- they get excited about a situation outside their reality – and thus develop understanding and empathy for the characters in the story
- they are sharing powerful one-to-one time with you, the parent
- difficult issues can be discussed and explored, presented in the story
- talking together about the character’s challenges increases the bond and communication level – so important – between parent and youth
A definite consideration for talking about the issues of a character in the story is that the thoughts and questions from you, the parent, are not perceived as “lecturing”. The focus is on the challenges of the character. Your child can talk more freely when you ask, “Do you think the boy made the right choice?”, for instance.
If You Read, They Will Read
When a parent shows that they value reading – by reading to their kids and by reading for pleasure, themselves – that message is transmitted to the children. In a world of too many electronics, too many video games, too much shallow content, quality stories “make you laugh, make you cry, and move the soul.”
Be Selfish: Keep Reading To Your Kids
Greg Weinger shares the benefits to the parent by reading aloud to older kids, in his article “Be Selfish: Keep Reading To Your Kids“. Below is the list he shares about those benefits.
At the end of the day, a 30-minute daily activity that helps you:
- set aside your work and the stress of life
- connect with your children
- lower your heart rate and blood pressure
- enjoy some of the greatest stories ever told
- recharge your creativity and ability to think
Matthiessen states that youth are more and more addicted to electronic devices and need to be protected from too much time playing games and social network sites. That’s why the quality time spent together – and the time spent reading aloud – is invaluable.
Jean Lesmeister, 15 year Babysitting CPR, Adult CPR & First Aid Instructor
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