Awesome Whole Family Benefits of Reading Aloud

If you’ve been around the blog for any amount of time, read any of my posts, browsed through old posts, you’ll know that I’m passionate about read aloud. Reading aloud is such an important practice. And I post about it often. Very often.

And I don’t just think it’s important for little people who can’t read yet. Reading aloud is important for the whole family. In some ways, it’s even more important to read aloud to older kids. I read aloud everyday at lunch time until my second child started working during the lunch hour. At the time, my kids were 17, 15, 12, and 10. I still read aloud daily to my younger girls who are 12 and 13 now.

This post is all about benefits of reading aloud- to young kids and older kids alike. There are so many benefits that I probably didn’t cover them all here. But I’ve tried to hit on some of the important benefits that I’ve found reading aloud to my students as a traditional classroom teacher and reading aloud to my own kids.

Benefits of reading aloud

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Academic Benefits of Reading Aloud

Increased comprehension

Hearing books read above their reading level helps children to gain an increased comprehension. When they begin to read more independently, they’ll have a framework to help them understand because they are accustomed to hearing more these difficult books. It can also increase comprehension as you stop to take time to discuss the book when you read. If you are taking time to define some difficult words or talk about situations in the book, the child is going to have that understanding when they read independently.

Appreciation for good books

There are so many books out there that aren’t really quality books, books that are “twaddle” as Charlotte Mason would say. When you are reading quality books to your children from the time they are small, they develop an appreciation for that kind of literature. Then when they begin to choose the books they read, they are going to choose those books.

A good knowledge of grammar

When a child is constantly hearing good writing being read aloud to them, they develop a sense of sentence structure and the correct flow of writing. Learning grammar rules in isolation often means that they are just forgotten after the page in the workbook is through. But when a child “picks up” good grammar from always listening to good writing, he is more likely to use that grammar in his speech and writing.

Good writing skills

Along with a good knowledge of grammar, listening to good writing being read aloud helps a child develop good writing skills. Like teaching the grammar skills in isolation, you can try to teach a child writing skills in isolation. Model good writing by having a child listen to the flow, the word usage, the structure of a well-written story. Then the child will understand what good writing sounds like.

A large vocabulary

When you are reading aloud, children will pick up unfamiliar words. Sometimes it may be worth interrupting the story to define a word. But even if you can’t stop and give a definition right then, the child will pick up words in context. And even if he isn’t given an exact definition he’ll begin to understand the word and recognize it in the future. Having a large vocabulary can help a child be a good speaker as well as a good writer.

Relational Benefits of Reading Aloud

Time as a family

Reading aloud creates a special time as family. Everyone can focus on the same book and not on their own world of electronic devices or other activity. Often family members are focused on their own pursuits. But when you all sit down together and listen to a good story, the whole family is enjoying time together.

Great discussions

Like academic lessons, moral, spiritual, and emotional lessons can be learned while reading aloud. We’ve often had some great discussions come up when we were discussing situations in the story. And there have been things I wouldn’t think of bringing up that have been brought up and we’ve had the chance to talk about.

Sibling bonding

I don’t have to be the one to read aloud in my family. Sometimes an older child will read to younger ones. When this happens, siblings are having fun together, doing an activity that is going to bring them closer and give them a stronger relationship. It’s hard to be constantly bickering with someone when you’re doing a fun activity with them.

Family traditions

In so many ways, reading aloud has become tradition in our family. When you read at specific times of the day, read certain books aloud at specific times, have a designated place to read aloud, you are creating family traditions. My kids know we read aloud as a family. It’s just something we do. It’s a characteristic of our family. And kids love the fun and the security of those traditions, those special things that define your family because you always do them.

Reading aloud has so many benefits. It’s worth making time for, and worth the work of picking out books and making a plan and choosing to do that rather than something else. It’s just worth it.

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