Why is reading aloud so important?
I found this to be so shocking:
If 100% of kindergarteners like to read, why do only 54% of 4th graders like to read? Well, 4th grade is the average age when parents stop reading aloud with their children! Check out the Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease.
Reading takes practice! Practice reading aloud with your child, starting at BIRTH!
- The more you read, the better you get at it; the better you get at it, the more you like it; and the more you like it, the more you do it.
- The more you read, the more you know; and the more you know, the smarter you grow.
But in reading aloud, we also:
- build vocabulary
- condition the child’s brain to associate reading with pleasure
- create background knowledge
- provide a reading role model
- plant the desire to read
The 3 B’s
Besides the library card, which is free, Jim Trelease highlights the Three B’s, an inexpensive “reading kit” that nearly all parents can afford:
The first B is books: Ownership of a book is important, with the child’s name inscribed inside, a book that doesn’t have to be returned to the library or even shared with siblings.
The second B is book basket (or magazine rack), placed where it can be used most often: There is probably more reading done in the bathrooms of America than in all the libraries and classrooms combined. Put a book basket in there, stocked with books, magazines, and newspapers. Put another book basket on or near the kitchen table. If there’s a book on the table, they’ll read it.
The third B is bed lamp: Does your child have a bed lamp or reading light? If not, and you wish to raise a reader, the first order of business is to go out and buy one. Install it, and say to your child: “We think you’re old enough now to stay up later at night and read in bed like Mom and Dad. So we bought this little lamp and we’re going to leave it on an extra fifteen minutes [or longer, depending on the age of the child] if you want to read in bed. On the other hand, if you don’t want to read— that’s okay, too. We’ll just turn off the light at the same old time.” Most children will do anything in order to stay up later— even read.