Don’t Stop Reading When Children Learn to Read

There’s magic in reading books aloud to young children, especially when you make voices (you have to make voices) and they giggle in the photo and you talk about the characters as if they were your BFFs. When children learn to read on their own, this parent-child ritual often ends, but it doesn’t have to. Reading books gives great benefits to already experienced readers, even under the age of 14. Here are some of them:

Can devour more complex plots

Jim Trelisse, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook , a classic guide treasure, explains it to GreatSchools as follows:

They often say to me: “My child is in the fourth grade and already knows how to read, why should I read him?” And I say, “Your child can read in fourth grade, but at what level does he listen ?”

A child’s reading level does not reach his listening level until eighth grade. You can and should read seventh grade books to fifth grade children. They will be in awe of the story and that will motivate them to keep reading. A fifth grader can enjoy a more complex storyline than she can read herself, and reading aloud will really hook her because when you go to the chapter books, you get into the real meat of the print – it’s really hard, serious going on that kids are willing to hear. and understand, even if they do not yet know how to read at this level.

Finding books that fall into this sweet spot of being intellectually challenging without going beyond their head can take some research and trial and error. If you have multiple children who are more than two years apart (and therefore have social and emotional differences), Trelease recommends reading to each child individually, especially when dealing with novels. Then, if you want to bring everyone together, do it with a picture book. Everyone loves good picture books.

You can simulate the joy of reading

According to government research, the proportion of teens and teens who read for fun once a week or more continues to decline . As children get older, they gain more and more texts that they have read, so they begin to think of reading as a routine work, such as washing. Plus, digital sounds and life sounds are distracting. Reading aloud to older children can help them recall the joy of reading books without undue stress. They don’t have to do anything other than sit there, or maybe draw or build something while they listen to the stories unfolding.

It can help them navigate difficult topics.

A lecture by Mom and Dad about serious things like bullying, racism, sexism, or disaster preparedness? Children may well be disconnected. But if you read them stories about complex characters , real or fictional, who have to make tough decisions based on life’s problems, you explore the problem together, and this can lead to meaningful conversation.

Trelease explains :

If you are reading a book about a child who is in trouble for hanging out with the wrong company, your child will experience it directly, and he will experience it with you, and you can talk about it together. You can ask questions such as, “Do you think the boy made the right choice?” “Do you think this girl was really her friend?” When you talk about a book together, it’s not a lecture, it’s more like a coach watching a movie with his players, watching plays to figure out what went right and what went wrong.

What makes a book easy to read aloud? Stories with rich language, varied sentence structure, colorful quotes, lots of action, and really anything that gets you excited. Trelease has an anthology of great storytelling, read aloud, aimed primarily at kindergarten through fourth grade children. If you, the reader, are addicted to the book, your child probably will too.


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