When I was in graduate school I learned all the reasons why reading aloud to students is so important. Aside from the obvious, the benefits of reading aloud extends to students beyond the pre-reading stage, and even all the way up through high school.
When I did start teaching I took an inservice based upon the teaching of Jim Trelease and his book The Read Aloud Handbook. I knew intuitively that what he said about literacy was correct and I implemented many of his strategies with great success for my students. I highly recommend his book. It is one that you will never give away or sell because you will refer to it throughout your homeschooling years.
We love reading aloud so much that we do it as often as we can. It is important also to read silently to a sibling, a parent or a buddy, but some of our most treasured moments in our homeschool are when I am reading aloud to my kids.
Students whose parents and/or teachers read aloud to them on a consistent basis become better readers. Kids who are read-aloud to develop many skills important to literacy and these are only a few:
and much, much more
Almost as big a mistake as not reading to children at all is stopping too soon.
In his book, Jim Trelease points out why reading aloud to your pre-teens and even teenagers is as important as reading to your toddlers.
In the near future I will be reviewing and suggesting books for your read-aloud time. If you haven't already, I hope you will begin before then!
A few tips to get you started:
Choose books that are on the child's level. You can read novels to your teenager. Don't choose a picture book and think you can get away with that just because you are reading aloud. Find something your child is interested in. Poetry is wonderful to read aloud to your children. I'll have more on that in the future! Snuggle up to your little ones; your in-betweens; <em>and</em> your older kids and enjoy a good book together!