Create Magic Moments: Read Aloud

family reading   More often than not, parents stop reading aloud to their children when they are about five or six, right around the time that kids begin to learn to read for themselves. Undoubtedly, other activities creep in, older children can more easily occupy themselves, and we simply forego read-alouds, fooling ourselves into believing it’s not that important and it doesn’t matter anymore.

We used to ask a renowned professor to come in and speak with our Title 1 parents early in the fall. This man once told the story of a dad who read to his daughter every night for her entire life. When the girl finally left the nest and headed off to college, she called her father. “Dad, I called so you could read to me.” Admittedly, this is an extreme example, but it does drive home the power of reading aloud.

No one ever outgrows read-alouds.  Several weeks ago, my husband had to undergo back surgery.  Although he had toted some books to the hospital, he was definitely not in the mood to read. Unfortunately, he was having difficulty sleeping as well. Each afternoon, as I sat beside him in the    dimly-lit hospital room, I read aloud to him. I know the medicine made him drowsy, I know the discomfort robbed much of his attention, but I hoped that a soothing voice, beautiful words, and a good story would relax him and distract him for a time. Those moments of connecting through story, provided a respite for both of us, a way to feel connected and an opportunity to travel to a different time and place.

The benefits of reading aloud to children are well-documented. Reading aloud encourages fluency, builds vocabulary, boosts comprehension, and encourages discussion. Most importantly, however, I believe regularly reading together bonds parents and children in a unique way. You will forever share the common world of the stories you read. Books may become bridges for tough talks, beacons of strong values, bulwarks during challenging times. Reading with someone you love offers many rewards. There’s magic in sharing a story, in revisiting history, in solving a mystery, and in learning something new. Don’t you want to sprinkle your life with magic moments?  Perhaps today is a good day to begin.

Have a favorite read-aloud?  Won’t you share it with us.

About Rita K.

Veteran educator and Certified Reading specialist, Freelance writer
This entry was posted in Reading aloud, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Create Magic Moments: Read Aloud

  1. Jeannie Weber says:

    One literacy avenue which I have found enjoyable is books on tape. An interior designer on the go, making several house calls per week, I travel a great deal in the car. Books on tape occupy my mind and seem to shorten the trips. Most of the best sellers are available on tape. I have recommended certain books on tape to my grandchildren who vary in age from elementary level up to college level. Certain books on tape that I have recommended to my grandchildren continue to foster a great deal of meaningful discussions.

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  2. Tonya says:

    The joke in my family is how I took a book from my mom when I was about two or three and began reading myself to sleep. When I got older, I realized what I’d also taken away from her. She was studying to become elementary school teacher then, as she is now, so I’m sure she looked forward to the chance to read to her own child. My son’s favorite is still “Are You My Mother”, even though there were many others I’d read to him.

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    • Rita K. says:

      This is a classic example of how children imitate the adults in their life and a testament to why it is so important to model a reading life for your kids. Thanks for sharing, Tonya!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Janelle says:

    I definitely see the value in reading aloud to Laila…she loves books and it’s such a special time we spend together. I feel her vocabulary is so well developed fur a five year old because of reading. Thanks for all the tips! Look forward to more blogs Rita:). All the best-Janelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rita K. says:

      Reading aloud to little ones is the best way to enhance vocabulary, help children understand how books work (concepts of print), build background knowledge, and best of all, foster a love of reading. You’re little one is lucky to have a mother who reads to her, Janelle!

      Liked by 1 person

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