No one is too old to enjoy listening to a book being read aloud. For children, especially babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and beginning readers, reading aloud is vital in helping them learn to read and in fostering a love of reading. Reading aloud to your child should not stop when they can read on their own. Reading aloud also aids in building your child’s vocabulary, increases their comprehension skills, and strengthens your relationship with them.
Here are some strategies to use when choosing a book, whether a picture book or a chapter book, to read aloud:
- Will my child enjoy the book? Is it about something relevant to them or about what they enjoy doing?
- Will I enjoy reading the book?
- Is the vocabulary too easy? Too hard? Just right?
- Are the illustrations, if a picture book, pleasing and attention-grabbing?
Before reading: Read the title, author, and illustrator to your child.
While reading: Read with expression and enthusiasm; have fun with written sounds; have your child repeat a recurring sound, word, or phrase in the story.
After reading: Talk about what happened in the story or chapter; ask your child to retell you the story or what happened in the chapter.
It’s okay to reread your child’s favorite book. Why, you ask? A child’s vocabulary has the potential to increase 15 – 40 percent by rereading a book to them at least three times. Repetition is how children learn and rereading a favorite book contributes to making reading a positive and bond-strengthening experience for grown-up and child. It also has concrete outcomes!