Once upon a time, there was a boy named, Marco. When he turned nine, his parents thought he should try reading books on his own at bedtime because he could read so well by himself. Marco felt a little sad. He loved it when his parents read aloud to him and his parents seemed to enjoy it too. He liked listening to stories that were hard for him to read by himself, the funny character voices his parents would do, talking with his parents about the stories they read together, and especially—their help in explaining words or parts of stories he didn’t understand.
So, why should they stop?
Being a good thinker, Marco decided to research the benefits of reading aloud to children to persuade his parents to reconsider.
Here is what he discovered:
- It’s a fact, children and their parents love reading together! In a 2017 Scholastic Canada Kids and Family Reading Report, 93% of children aged 6 to 8 said they “loved or liked a lot” being read aloud to and 87% of children aged 9 to 11 felt the same way. Parents also said they “loved or liked a lot” reading aloud to their children; 86% of parents with children aged 6 to 8 and 87% of parents with children aged 9 to 11.
- Reading stories beyond a child’s reading level will motivate them to improve their reading skills. According to a PBS Reading Rockets article about reading with your child, “even after children learn to read by themselves, it’s still important for you to read aloud together. By reading stories that are on their interest level—but beyond their reading level—you can stretch young readers’ understanding and motivate them to improve their skills.”
- Children will become better writers if their parents read aloud to them. “If you want children to grow up to be good writers, the most important thing you can do for them is read to them out loud all throughout their developmental years and into their teenage years,” says Andrew Pudewa, Director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing and developer of the Teaching Writing: Structure and Style (offered by The Open Door – Small Group Writing Workshops ). For more check out, Nurturing Competent Communicators by Andrew Pudewa
The Happy Ending
In the end, Marco persuaded his parents to resume the bedtime story hour and they cherished their time together. Naturally, they all lived happily ever after.
The moral of the story is…continue reading aloud to your children as long as they want you to!
For more about the benefits of reading aloud to your children, check out these ODES blog posts:
- Mind the Gap: Ride the learning curve all summer long
- Inspiring reading confidence in a reluctant reader
- Is Reading to Your Child Important?
Marion May is the Blog Curator and Content Writer for The Open Door blog as well as a reading and spelling tutor for The Open Door, tutoring children between the ages of seven and 10. Her blog content is “local, organic and specific” and is relevant for parents of children with dyslexia.
Marion formerly tutored teenaged students in a literacy remediation program at Sir Guy Carleton Secondary School in Ottawa. She also worked as a paid fundraiser and grant proposal writer for The Excellence in Literacy Foundation, a national non-profit aimed at helping marginalized youth. She began her career in radio broadcasting and news writing and has worked in the area of promotional writing for several federal government departments and agencies, including the National Research Council.
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