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6 Great Reasons to Read Aloud to Your Kids

You probably already know that you should be reading aloud to your child on a regular basis. But sometimes that can be hard. Am I right? Between math class, science experiments, errands, and getting dinner on the table, you have to make choices about how to spend your time.

In this post, I want to lay out six really great reasons why you should make the time to read aloud.

6 Reasons to Read Aloud to Your Kids

  1. Reading aloud to children creates a lifetime interest in reading.

    If you start reading to your children while they are young, they will be much more likely to grow into the habit of reading. When they associate reading with happy memories, they are more likely to persist in learning to read, even when they run into occasional roadblocks in the process of learning to read.

  2. Reading to young children extends their attention spans.

    Don’t overdo it at first. You might need to start with just ten minutes of read-aloud time, and gradually extend the time until your child is able to maintain full attention for longer periods of time. A longer attention span will help a child perform better both in school subjects and in real-life projects.

    mother reading aloud to child
  3. Reading aloud to children aids in language development.

    As children listen to you read, they assimilate strong language skills. They pick up correct word pronunciation, word usage, and proper grammar. Their working vocabulary increases, and they internalize correct sentence structure. All these skills will eventually transfer to their own speaking and writing. Improper grammar will begin to sound wrong to them, and they will be more likely to choose good grammar when they communicate. By demonstrating fluency, reading aloud to your child will also help him become a more fluent reader.

  4. As you read aloud, the power of a child’s imagination is strengthened.

    As you read to your children, they visualize the book’s events in their minds. Through the pages of a book, children are able to experience events and situations that are outside of their own personal experiences. They can picture life in other parts of the world and in other cultures. Children who have been read to are usually more adept at creating stories from their own imaginations.

  5. Reading aloud helps build a child’s comprehension.

    As you read and discuss books together, your child increases his problem-solving abilities and gains insight into characters’ motives. Discussing a book as you read helps teach a child how to make good predictions. As you read aloud, you can fill in missing background information that helps a child better understand the book’s setting, historical background, and characters—details that might be missed if a child reads a book on his own. Reading aloud also gives you the opportunity to emphasize important character traits as you read. Point out examples of compassion, kindness, perseverance, and optimism, then take a moment to discuss these traits with your children.

  6. Last, but certainly not least, read-aloud time is great one-on-one bonding time.

    Reading aloud is a wonderful chance to share adventure, intrigue, and emotion—without having to leave your living room. And that is irreplaceable.

Need More Encouragement?

Do you have a culture of reading in your household? Or do you need to get motivated to start reading to your kids?

Check out Read-Aloud Revival! Sarah MacKenzie has interviewed Jim Weiss (“Reading Aloud Imperfectly”), Andrew Pudewa (“Reading Aloud to Older Kids”), and Mystie Winckler (“For Parents Who Don’t Like to Read Aloud”), as well as many great authors.

I had the chance to join Sarah to chat about the importance of reading aloud with a struggling reader. Sarah and I packed a lot into our 21-minute conversation, including suggestions for some of my very favorite books to read aloud with struggling learners.

Read Aloud Revival interview with Marie Rippel

You may want to subscribe to her podcast (I did!) or her email list. Read-Aloud Revival has had over 1 million downloads—and for good reason!

So grab a cup of tea and join Sarah and me as we chat about the importance of reading aloud to your children. Then go grab a book and a comfy chair and spend some time reading together with your children.

Need ideas for books to read aloud? Check out my FREE downloadable library lists!

FREE Picture Book LIbrary Lists

6 reasons to read aloud pinterest graphic
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Leave a Comment

Stephanie

says:

We love reading aloud together! Our goal is at least 1 chapter a day.

Nadezhda

says:

We love reading aloud together as a family and have done it ever since kids were babies. I look forward to my children reading on their own, but will also miss the read aloud family time. :)

Jennefer Pers

says:

We struggled with reading aloud time, my boys just didn’t like it! We finally found a series that keeps them interested 2 weeks ago and I really noticed a change in their attitude toward reading! They are definitely more interested now 😊

jacelyn

says:

thank you for all of the encouragement

Kimber

says:

I love reading with my kids!

Karren Savorgnan

says:

I love reading aloud to my children. It not only builds their love of books but also strengthens our bond.

Rebekah

says:

I ordered the pre-reading kit for my preschooler and I’ve loved it. It works you through each letter, capitals first followed by lowercase. Some letters we spent just a day on while others we spent a week. I am excited she is ready for the next level and I can be part of her learning how to read experience.

Amanda Gustafson

says:

And this is a great program for advanced readers that need to go back to fill in the knowledge of the rules.

Amanda Gustafson

says:

We love this program!!! And the app is amazing!

Christy Reed

says:

We have so enjoyed reading aloud together. Poetry, Greek mythology, fascinating historical fiction, and fun stories I remember from childhood! Such an important part of parenting.

Brandi

says:

We love to utilize reading as connection time . We have a large recliner that I will sit in … and the girls know to climb in my lap for story time ❤️ I always loved reading as a child and love sharing that with my littles. Love the article!

Jennifer McWethy

says:

We read aloud every night :)

Tammy

says:

Thank you for all of the useful tips. Bedtime stories are a favorite in our house.

Ashley Haley

says:

We love read alouds in our house!!

Jodi Montgomery

says:

My children love being read too!

Stacy Lutje

says:

I love reading aloud to my children. I hope to do it even through high school

L Gunter

says:

This is my favorite! I think I love it as much as the kids 😊

Julie

says:

Love the Read Aloud Revival!! I agree with the importance of reading aloud to our children no matter the age!

Jennifer

says:

Great tips!

Jean Gray

says:

I agree, reading aloud to children aids in language development. We read to my oldest son from birth on and he was speaking full sentences at age 1.

Anna Graves

says:

My kiddo is Dyslexic and really struggles with reading, but LOVES being read to!

Rachel Rohde

says:

Great article. I cherish my time reading books with my children.

Kendra

says:

Great article!

Kimberly Cobb Sleeger

says:

Read aloud time is the favorite time of our homeschool day.

Emily Roehner

says:

It’s joy for the entire family. I often find my teenagers sneaking closer to hear when I read. They don’t want to be discovered being read to.

Katrina Myatt

says:

I love using read alouds with my children. We end up having such wonderful discussions.

Chelsea

says:

Thanks, I am always trying to sneak in extra read alouds.

Christina

says:

We absolutely love readaloud time in our home. So many oppertunities are opened up. Our core cirriculum inchudes readaloud suggestions from each genre and that furthers our journeys into worlds we never could have imagined.

Edana

says:

I try to read aloud to the kids everyday. The youngest can play when he gets bored but the oldest would be happy to listen to stories all day!

Kori Lewis

says:

I am so thankful that we started reading with our kids when they were babies. They both have been early readers, which makes all other aspects of schooling easier!

Anna

says:

Thanks for the great article!

Katie B

says:

I did not know reading-aloud has SO many benefits! Thank you for the great article!

Pat

says:

An excellent article!

Felicia

says:

I read to my kids since i was pregnant, I love it

Jess

says:

We love reading aloud!

Joey F

says:

Read-aloud helped my 2 sons become voracious readers

Jane Smith

says:

I am a grandmother of 4. I read daily to my children as they were growing up. Now, my children have carried on the tradition and read to my grandchildren

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Muli-generational love of books! Wonderful, Jane! ❤️

Sandy

says:

We love to read and we love books! We have a books basket in just about every room. Bedtime stories are a priority and we make sure to have a good amount of time for long stories. Now that my oldest is starting to read, she reads to her brother throughout the day 😊

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sandy,
I love it when children start sharing their love of books with younger siblings, cousins, and other little ones! 😊

Meg

says:

My little guy loves building with duplo/LEGO’s during read-aloud sometimes. Using his hands keeps him focused

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Meg,
Yes! The idea of children happily sitting still with their hands in their laps while a parent reads aloud is not accurate at all, at least not in my home! I’ve had kids taking bikes apart, digging holes, doing cross-stitch, painting, folding laundry, as well as building with Lego, drawing or coloring, or just laying under the table in a blanket fort. Reading aloud time is a rather active time here. 😊

Shannon

says:

Language development and bonding! That’s why we do it!

Rachel

says:

I can’t wait to use this with my kiddo this fall!

candice

says:

My husband and I have read with our children every night since the day they were born. We love the bonding and cuddle time!! Great article!

AMANDA

says:

I have not been good with reading to my daughter. This information is helping me turn this situation around! Thank you!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Amanda. Let me know if you need ideas to help you make reading aloud a part of your days.

Kelly Carlson

says:

Read aloud is one of our favorite times of the day! Thanks for the info!

Evelyn Pereira

says:

It was very helpful for me. use it with second language students

Carol

says:

Thank you. Very important to read to children so they want to read and have an interest in books.

Nicki

says:

My kids love to sit and just listen to stories I read aloud. It’s a great time for just sitting together and bonding. I love when my kids ask what a word means then start using that new word!

Alicia

says:

Reading aloud is definitely something we need to improve on as a family, thank you for this insightful post.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Alicia. It is an important activity but easy to get pushed off when life gets busy. I find it helpful to set a time each day for it. For us, it is right after lunch.

Alison Brisby

says:

My daughter has always loved her bedtime stories, and I’ve loved reading them. Although now, at the ripe old age of 7, she feels she’s getting too old for them. She doesn’t think her friends have stories read to them at bedtime. I find myself sitting on her bed reading a story anyway while she’s – as she calls it – ‘doing her own thing’ (writing/drawing in her notebook). Or she wants to read to me … but she doesn’t want to read the words, she wants to read the pictures. She has recently found photo albums of when she was a baby and so she wants me to tell her those stories. Whatever we’re doing … it is a very special time :)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Alison,
Let your daughter know that I still read aloud to my 17 and 15 year old sons! But they always “do their own thing” too.

Dawn Brosnan

says:

We used to read just short children’s books but now my 6yo likes bigger chapter books. She’s been helping with words here and there and love her imagination!

Jennifer

says:

Great advice!

Elizabeth

says:

My 7.5 year old is always asking for read aloud time throughout the day. I love that we have that connection together as we read all sorts of books. Thank you for making it an important part of AAR!

Sara

says:

We do audiobooks in the car which entertains both my kids and myself!

Nicole

says:

Great advice

Shelley

says:

Love All About Learning. Great ideas for new teachers as well as older teacher.

ilovethem

says:

Thank you for the inspiring reminder! I love the way even the older ones delight in hearing me read.

Olivia Vail

says:

some of our best memories are with books in hand.

Adriana Morales Hill

says:

I am not a native English speaker and I uses this curriculum with my daughter since K. We both learned English, we understood the rules of spelling. I recommend this curriculum. I had a great experience my daughter will be a senior next school year. She is a great speller.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

It’s great to hear how All About Spelling helped you and your student learn English, Adriana! Thank you for sharing this. 😊

Sarah

says:

Great advice!

Neva

says:

My daughter is almost 9 and our read aloud time before bed is still going strong.

Amanda Gustafson

says:

I have an advanced reader, but we needed to take a step back and go over some of the “rules”. This program allowed us to succinctly gain that knowledge.

RaShell Southerland

says:

We love read aloud time in our family. Such a fun part of our day.

melissa

says:

This is great, thank you!

Heather

says:

I agree with this. We have read aloud since my oldest was a baby and she absolutely loves to read.

Ashley Hoopes

says:

I can definitely see that reading aloud has improved my children’s reading comprehension. I had gotten away from reading to them but thanks to the pandemic I am reading aloud again. :)

Katie

says:

Yes! Reading aloud is sooo good I’m so many ways! We are hoping to start using your reading curriculum soon.

Matt

says:

Interesting article! We are going to start homeschooling next year and would like to start using your curriculum for reading and spelling. We have heard great things.

Mrs Wu

says:

We fully believe in reading aloud as much as possible! We love following the advice on this blog. :)

Karen

says:

Reading aloud to my son has done a lot to improve my reading, and has helped my son. I also use it to determine new vocabulary words to learn. We love the products from All About Learning.

Rebekah

says:

We read outloud quite a bit in my family, even with teens. Really has helped. Took many years but we are now seeing improvement with older teen boys.

Renee

says:

I never knew that reading aloud to my children helps them with grammar. My little one loves to bring me books to read him and my older one enjoys reading to me now.

Natalie

says:

This is why we use a literature based approach to homeschooling. 😁

Natalie

says:

Reading aloud is my favorite part of the day!

Carol

says:

I have found all of these to be true with my kids. Since starting to read aloud with them I catch them reading more by themselves as well. It makes my heart happy!

Cheryl

says:

I love reading aloud with expression and sometimes even self-made sound effects. It engages attention and enjoyment, not only for me but for the children as well.

Angie

says:

Everyone says this is such a great program. I would LOVE to win and try it out!!

Lani Sylvan

says:

We love this program! Read aloud time has been wonderful and a great time of bonding between me and my kids!

Wendy McCart

says:

So thankful that I read aloud to my boys starting when they were young. As an educator I had been told it was important, but I have now seen first hand how valuable it is. Both of my boys have mild to moderate dyslexia. So learning to read has been a longer process, but with my older son, now almost 9, I have seen how beneficial all of the vocabulary and syntax patterning built in from hours of read alouds, has been to him. And how it has contributed to his really finally taking off with reading this year. Not to mention that all the rich vocabulary and stories would have been inaccessible to him were it not for read alouds and audio books.

Karrie S

says:

This would be such a wonderful program to use with my son and students.

Georgia Ann Stapleton

says:

We are on Level 3 on All About Reading and she has become a lover of reading and a love being read to.

Ruth

says:

Love this and think it is so important continue to read to our kids beyond the point they begin to read books for themselves.

Christine CHAMBERS

says:

Absolutely love this. Reading to our kids is so important!

Dawn

says:

Wonderful! I love reading to my 4yr old as well as my nearly 9yr old; the both love the different voices I use and it encourages them to read to each other as well.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Reading with expression makes books come alive, Dawn! It’s no wonder your children love the voices you use. 😊

Anna Marie

says:

Love this! Reading aloud with my kindergartener is one of the things that we can do together that we both enjoy.

Mychal

says:

Love it! Encouraging article!

Carol

says:

Thank you so much for this article on reading aloud to kids. I agree with you that reading aloud definitely helps. Children just enjoy adults reading to them. Also, it give them an interest in learning and reading. Thank you again.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re so right, Carol! 😊

Kristen

says:

We just started AAR Pre-reading. One of the instructions to parents is to read 20 minutes a day with your child. We used to regularly read with our son but as he’s gotten older and life has become busier it’s not something we do daily. After reading this and starting the Pre-reading course I’m making the commitment to read aloud 2-3 books a day with the goal of reaching 20 minutes a day.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Kristen,
Yes! Reading aloud to children is so important, even as they get older. Children enjoy and benefit from being read aloud to even entire their teen years!

Brittany

says:

We’re so excited to start AAR 1 this fall!

Rena

says:

I love reading aloud to my kids! My older children love to sit and listen to just about anything I read, but my 6 year old son only likes picture books. Every time I try to introduce something a little more advanced, he complains that it’s too boring. I don’t want to push too hard, but I would like to expose him to other types of books. Guess I’ll just be patient and keep trying.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Rena,
Yes, keep trying. But also look for books that are a transition from picture books to chapter books. Look for chapter books with lots of pictures and younger stories, like Gooney Bird Greene Chapter Books, My Father’s Dragon, and Little House in the Big Woods. Also try picture books that have longer text, like A Bargain for Frances and James Herriot Treasury. Lastly, try different types of books. Instead of fiction all the time, try some non-fiction books as well. There are lots of wonderful science and technology books with great pictures but longer text with topics that hold children’s fascinations. A favorite in our house was How to Dig a Hole to the Other Side of the World.

But above all, keep reading! He will grow into longer books in time.

C F

says:

We are excited to give this a try for our 3rd grader this year. She has been a reluctant and struggling reader so we need to find a better fit!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Do you need help with placement or anything else, CF? Let me know.

Becky B

says:

I love reading aloud to my daughter!

Natasha

says:

Even my grown children still love our read aloud times! I’m so glad we made a point to read aloud when they were young.

Janet C

says:

Reading aloud is one of the most important parts of our everyday life. It takes intentionality. Love RAR and her recommendations.

Heather J

says:

This is something that I really want to try to achieve consistently this summer.

Meaghan DeJarnatte

says:

I love reading aloud to my girls! And these are just a few great reasons to do so!

Amanda Coghlan

says:

My kids love reading. It came from seeing me love to read and love to read to them!! Their love of reading has really helped them succeed in school.

samiya fatima

says:

Great reasons, did by realise how it helps kids so much.

Robin

says:

Great encouragement! My son loves to be read to.

Julie

says:

Favorite & to hear them read aloud is a beautiful thing

Evangeline Mitchem

says:

My boys loved to be read to.

Julie

says:

Favorite time with one on one grandparent day

Kimberly M Seitzinger

says:

OUr two youngest daughters with down syndrome love read aloud time right before bed. Lately we have started we read one aloud and then our daughter who just learned to read reads one to her younger sister and us. The youngest always “pretend” reads one to us as well.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Awww, what sweet memories you are creating with your children, Kimberly! 😊

Michelle B

says:

Great resources to help children have a desire and love for reading!

Crystal

says:

Our son loves reading. After reading a fun book one afternoon “Press Here” he “read” it to daddy as soon as he got home from work. It was the 1st time I noticed he had really paid attention and was copying my inflection as he read the story to daddy. I try to always read with the emotion of the stories even more now.

KAYLA WOLFE

says:

We love reading at our house. I started it early on and incorporate it in for bedtime and naptime. My girls will now sit and look at books and “read” them to themselves for a long time

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

It sounds like your girls have learned to love books, Kayla! 😊

Sarah

says:

My kids always have enjoyed reading but now that we can’t go anywhere we have upped our.

Britani Mahar

says:

Each kid picks out a book to be read aloud every night. It is part of their routine and helps them build their foundational knowledge. One thing that surprises me is sometimes they will pick the same two books every night for a week.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Britani,
Sometimes kids just love a book so much that they want to hear it again and again! It’s a great thing. 😊

Jane

says:

We love read aloud time. I’ve noticed that by consistently using a lot of expression as I read, my kid has naturally picked that up as well.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jane,
I love it when new readers use expression and maybe even an accent when they read! It’s the cutest thing and it is a sign that they are really getting reading. 😊

Taylor Wright

says:

It’s interesting that reading aloud to children can help with their longer attention span. Our daughter doesn’t love reading and we are trying to find ways to have her more interested in reading. We’ll be sure to try some of these tips to help our daughter with reading.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Reading aloud to child is a wonderful way to increase their interest in books and reading themselves, Taylor.

Siti Azlina

says:

My kids used to love asking me to read to them before bed. But I am too busy with work and I can see they are disappointed and simply stop asking me to read to them. I regret that…..

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Siti,
I know a lot of people enjoy bedtime stories, but bedtimes were always busy and hectic in our house. Instead, I made a habit of reading aloud to my kids earlier in the day. For years and years I read aloud after lunch. Just before dinner is a good time too.

If your children are willing to listen, it’s not too late to read aloud. I have teenagers and still read aloud to them occasionally.

Sally Chancellor

says:

We love read aloud time!

Dawn

says:

Exactly right!

Angela

says:

With having 4 children I struggle to take the time to read allowed with my children. However, we have started homeschooling, and I plan to make this a daily routine! Thanks for the tips, we will definitely be using them.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Oh, I understand, Angela! I have 5 kids myself, spanning over ten years, so finding time to read aloud to all of them on their level wasn’t always easy. I found grouping the kids helped a lot, so over the years I never had more than three read aloud groups. And, when I did have three groups, I used an older child at times to read aloud to the youngest group. I also made reading aloud a part of our daily routine by attaching it to something we do every day. I have read aloud after lunch most days of the week for almost twenty years!

Shannon Russell

says:

Read Alouds are an excellent way to introduce complex text to struggling readers. I can’t imagine teaching without incorporating them.

Sara Romanski

says:

I started with AAL’s advice about twenty minutes a day. We now probably do way more than that a day. My girls are three and six, and this habit is one I am so happy we started. Bible in the morning with breakfast (kids version), and plenty of books throughout the day. It helps pass the time when it is too cold to go outside, too.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sara,
Yes! That twenty minutes a day of reading aloud is a beginning, a minimum to set. But it is such a useful and enjoyable activity, that many go well beyond twenty minutes. I have been known to read aloud for two hours or more at a time, although I typically have to build up to it. When I’m out of practice, that much reading aloud leaves me with a sore throat!

Amanda

says:

I love to read aloud to my kids. They enjoy when I give each character a different funny voice.

Catharina Gillam

says:

So thankful that my husband starting reading out loud to our kiddos 4 years ago! We haven’t always used it as an opportunity to teach empathy, compassion, kindness – love the idea of being more explicit in pointing those things out as we read!

Sunette

says:

We love our read aloud time. But Daddy can read normal, but me, the kids love the different voices and extra sounds I make! :) Reading in a normal tone for me, to them, is a big NO! I also read English to them(we’re Afrikaans speaking). And this helps them to understand the second language better. Sometimes their imaginative play has a lot of English words in it.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sunette,
Listening to books read in a language you are learning is a great way to build vocabulary and an ear for the structure of the language! I love that your children’s play includes their English learning at times. 😊

Elizabeth Neal

says:

Great post! Some of these reasons I have never considered as a benefit of reading aloud before. Thank you!

Cheree

says:

I read the Read Aloud book by Sarah Mackenzi and it extremely interesting!! I’m trying to read aloud more to my kids now.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Cheree,
Sarah MacKenzie’s blog, The Read-Aloud Revival, is a great resource too!

Tjae

says:

A very encouraging post!

Lyla Peterson

says:

It’s amazing how much reading to your kids can strengthen their comprehension skills, attention span, and vocabulary. I have been considering starting a tradition of reading with my kids before bed. It sounds like something that could be both a bonding and educational experience for them.

H. Daniel

says:

I was so happy to read this! Sometimes I feel like I’m cheating my kids by reading aloud to them, like I’m doing their work for them. It was nice to learn there are so many good reasons for reading aloud!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

There is no cheating in reading aloud to your children! Rather, it is so beneficial that we recommend doing it long after they are able to read well themselves. My teens read daily themselves, but I still read aloud to them most days as well. We all enjoy it, and I use the books I read aloud for literary analysis and deeper discussion.

Deanna

says:

Thank you for the insight. I needed the reminder and encouragement right now.

I especially love the encouragement to read aloud. I will use this with parents at parent meetings.

I like how you pointed out that reading out loud can help a child’s language development. It was especially interesting how you mentioned that this can increase their vocabulary. I wouldn’t mind reading to my kids out loud if it will really help them in this regard.

Fawn

says:

Great article, I put a link in my most resent blog post to here because there are so many books that have age limits on them (4-8) (2nd grade) and so on and while I see that these are useful to kids who are reading on their own it’s not to say you can’t read these books to babies. The more you read to them the more you are expanding their world. Thank you for your post here. It’s wonderful.
http://kids-book-talk.blogspot.com/

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for sharing your book reviews, Fawn.

Sublime.

says:

All I can say is thanks. Sometimes, we do the right things without fully understanding how important and impactful they are. Your ideas will enable me enhance my reading aloud sessions with my learners. Thank you.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome. Our blog post on vocabulary development also has ideas on how to enhance reading aloud.

Leah

says:

My 5 children and I love to read together! It’s their favorite thing to do.

I’ve noticed that reading aloud has made a big difference with my two-year-old and her vocabulary development. Great article?

Great article. No question mark, sorry for typo.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Taneeka,
Yes! We even have a block post about Building Your Child’s Vocabulary through read alouds and conversations with adults.

(And I knew what you meant even with the question mark. :)

Rebecca

says:

This article hits home. My children are not avid readers. I hope that someday they will be. I need to make sure that I am reading to them everyday. Thanks for the reminder.

Amy P

says:

Love that you are sharing that reading aloud is a wonderful help to children. I read aloud to mine before they could read and once they could read they would read aloud to their stuffed animal friends in their room. Their creativity blossomed in so many ways. Keep reading to those kids moms and dads!

Marie Rippel

says: Customer Service

Amy, you couldn’t have voiced my sentiments better! Reading aloud is not only the perfect predecessor to a child’s reading ability in the future, but it brings such joy when it is a time-honored tradition in the household! I love hearing that your children’s creativity has blossomed, and that they even enjoyed reading to their stuffed animals!

Rachel

says:

My daughter loves being read to! I can’t wait until she can read all the amazing books I loved growing up TO HERSELF! Haha!

Tara Balcom

says:

Any suggestions for those of us whose kids don’t enjoy it? My almost 5 year old would rather sit and “read” to herself on her bed than have me read her a book, although I still ask and try! And if/when I try to read to them both out loud, they get bored and distracted and don’t enjoy it. I don’t enjoy being ignored and/or interrupted. Needless to say, we don’t do a lot of read alouds! Which is sad, because I read about and hear people talk about how important that time is for their families. As a homeschooler you’d think we’d be all about books….someday, maybe?

Merry at AALP

says:

Hi Tara,

My youngest didn’t enjoy read-alouds when we started either! I found I had to be very choosy about books at first and make sure I chose ones that would be of high interest (topics she was interested in, great pictures to draw her in, etc…). It also helped to start with shorter times and gradually build up. I kept a book basket and had my kids choose a book for me to read to them. Also, many kids need to do something with their hands–it actually helps them concentrate. Quiet activities like molding play dough at a table while you read, coloring (sometimes I found related pictures to our story for my dd to color, or I found black and white images online, enlarged them and printed them as coloring pages), using a squeeze ball, or other hands-on activities can help. Sometimes I’d read a short story and then have my kids build something from the book with blocks, or act a part of it out.

Some kids have mild auditory processing issues–maybe not enough that you’ve noticed it yet, but enough to make read-alouds a struggle for them. Things like slowing down your reading pace just a bit, letting them look at your mouth instead of the book while you read, varying your intensity and so on can really help. This article has tips you may find helpful: http://blog.allaboutlearningpress.com/auditory-processing-disorder/

So much of life is based on taking in information through the auditory pathway, it’s valuable to try to find a way to make read-alouds more palatable. But I wouldn’t give up or be too discouraged yet. You may find that your daughter is able to do better with read-alouds over time.

Does she like reading to you? Maybe you could take turns reading to each other?

HTH some!

Dana

says:

I have never enjoyed reading. It always made me tired, and I did it only out of necessity. I have a new found love for reading to my children however. I have read to our oldest (now 7) since before she was even born. We now have 4 children and they all love books, whether Mom, Dad, or big sis is reading, or just looking at the pages during quiet times. Thank you for the encouragement! I am delighted to see my children have a love for books and reading through my efforts, and see these benefits!

Merry at AALP

says:

Hi Dana,

Isn’t it funny how we’ll do things for our kids? I’m glad you can enjoy reading more now and see the benefits for your kids–what a joy that they love books!

Julie Summerfield

says:

Thanks for reminding me how important this is. Sometimes by the time I get done with regular schooling the last thing I want to do is read aloud for any duration! I can talk in a normal conversation for hours….but make me read and my voice gets all tired and my throat is dry etc. Not sure why that happens but it does. I am going to renew my efforts to do at least 20 mins of reading again. I hate it when we get out of a good habit of it, and before I know it, it has been a couple months since I read to them!

Merry at AALP

says:

I like to make a cup of hot tea, or grab a cold drink in the summer, and keep it by me as I read aloud. Maybe something like that would help? I wonder if you are trying to read quickly or more loudly, and that impacts your voice–you could try varying your volume and tempo and see if that helps at all.

Antoinette

says:

We have read to our kids nearly every night since they were babies and they LOVE to read! They also now enjoy listened my to audiobooks! Fostering a love of reading is a must! Homeschooling is much easier when your children love to read… Read with you children!

Laura

says:

I love reading with my kids! Seems like some days it’s the only time to get an independent toddler to sit still and cuddle. It’s great to see the light come on, so to speak, as they gain awareness of the plot and characters and start asking great questions or showing emotion with the characters.

Melinda

says:

I loved reading out loud to my granddaughter. The day came, though, where she grabbed the book and said that she rather read the book herself – silently – she could read faster alone. Thankfully, she still cuddles while she reads to herself.

April Rakes

says:

Totally agree!!! Love this article and the joys and benefits of reading with your child :)!

Noelle Searles

says:

Ive always loved reading aloud to my children. Its a wonderful time to snuggle up together!
I cant wait to start reading literature to my children as part of our schooling next year.

Shannon

says:

My husband and I have read to both of our children since birth. They are 3 and 5 now. Our 5 year old can sit and “look” at books for hours. Both boys enjoy being read to. I’m ever hopeful that they will grow to be habitual readers and enjoy every second of it. I didn’t read as much as I should have when I was younger. I’m now catching up on a lot of classics that we’re reading to our older son. One of the best parts about reading aloud is getting to use accents and voices for different characters. My son requests this!

Katrina

says:

I used to overlook the value of reading to my kids until my husband and I decided to make a habit out of doing it every night. Now I look forward to it, they look forward to it, and they try to read with me as well. We also read during the day when we have down time as well! Best thing for the whole family! :)

Shauna

says:

We love reading aloud in our house. As child this didn’t happen in our home so I am loving it with my child.

Connie

says:

I started reading to my kids when they were very young and still read to them daily.

Sara M

says:

I guess I hadn’t really thought of all the benefits to reading out loud to my children. Thank yoU!!

Caryn

says:

We read throughout the day to our kids and especially enjoy reading stories before bedtime; this helps calm everyone down!

Angela P.

says:

We love reading to our kiddos!

Beth Naas

says:

We have always done read-alouds, in literature of course, but also in science and math (usually from Apologia or Master books and the Life of Fred series). Old, young, and all ages in between gather several times a week for reading aloud. Love, love, love it.

Brittany

says:

I agree. Reading is great!

Cat

says:

Love reading aloud

Erin

says:

We love read aloud time at our home. Reading aloud applies to teens as well too so don’t stop reading as your kids get older. As a junior and senior high teacher, my students loved it when I read a chapter or section out loud to them too. It allows struggling readers to focus on imagining the story rather than deciphering the words.

Jennifer D

says:

We love our read aloud time! My kids beg for just one more page or one more chapter.

Tara

says:

We love our family read aloud time!

Tammy Jones

says:

We love our read aloud time. We need to make sure we do more of it instead of less.

Monique

says:

I love reading aloud, it’s a great family bonding experience

Rosaline

says:

I love this article! It does give bonding with my 5 yr daughter a wonderful turn.
Her favorite book so far is “Guess how much I love you”.

Hope H.

says:

Reading has been a part of both my daughter and son’s bedtime routine since the beginning. Now my daughter is starting to read herself and wants to help out with the words she knows. Our favorite books right now are Fancy Nancy, Pinkalicious, Trucktown and anything construction. I love the time we spend together and I love that my children have developed a love for books at such a young age.

Autumn Jones

says:

I completely agree! I have always read aloud to my kids since they were small, and they both love reading now. I would add yet another benefit: It is the single, easiest, fastest, and most-effective way to increase their vocabulary! Along with reading aloud to them, my kids, my son especially, love listening to audio books. As a result, he often uses words that aren’t typical for his age. (He is 8.) For example, if he thinks the room is cold, he doesn’t simply say “It’s cold in here.” Instead, he says things like, “It is frigid!” I love it!

Heather

says:

Reading aloud to my children is one of our favorite things to do. Everyone asks for it, even though they can all read now. It has definitely given them a head start on language and reading skills.

monica

says:

Love reading aloud to my kids and now, having them read aloud to me!

Wendy

says:

We begin and end everyday with our favorite activity – snuggled up on the couch reading to our children. Soon they will be too big to sit on our laps, but they time reading to them will continue. What a wonderful memory we are making for all of us!

Anna A.

says:

I read so many books aloud to my 4-year old. The last favorite one I read was King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub. It came with a CD and I think I might have enjoyed it more than my son.

Julie Hall

says:

We are trying to read aloud more and right now, we love Little House on the Prairie :)

Jessica

says:

When I read books from my childhood I can still hear my Gram’s voice. I read to my kids because it’s how I remember her love. And how I show love to my kids. :)

Marli

says:

I love read aloud time with my four girls each day! They really enjoy it too! It definitely keeps them interested in books. We visit the library regularly to find new books to enjoy.

Michelle

says:

Read-aloud time is a treasured part of our day. I do see a big difference in attention span and relationship connection when we are faithful in this time.

Pyra

says:

Just curious. . . have you seen any studies about a person reading aloud to a child v. a child listening to audio stories?

I definitely see extra benefits to being read to by a live person in real time (you can stop the story, answer questions, relate it to another life event, explain vocabulary). I know in large families and with older children, audio books are also an efficient way to create an opportunity for listening to stories read aloud. Just curious?

Merry

says:

Hi Pyra,

We haven’t seen any studies, but it’s an interesting question! We’ve done some of both (I still read aloud most evenings to my teens, but both enjoy audio stories). Just last night they both told me that when they read on their own, they often hear my voice! That cracked me up!

I do love being able to discuss the stories we read, or to stop at certain points.

Shayla

says:

I am curious about that as well. I LOVE reading aloud to my kids but I have recently struggled with vocal cord issues and nodules on my vocal cords and so I had to rely on audio books since I have to rest my voice (which is sad for both me and my children) but I figured the benefits were hopefully the same.

Nancy S.

says:

I treasure read-aloud times with my children. My oldest, 11 years old, eagerly waits all day (while still happily listening to the “younger books”) until I can read for an hour (or more!) from an “older” book when others are sleeping. I love that we can talk about plot predictions, vocabulary, moral and ethical issues, etc. as we read as well.

Kristy Johnson

says:

My oldest (7) still likes picture books and reads Magic Treehouse books on her own, but her favorite books to read are about taking care of animals. Her absolute favorite is Barnyard in your Backyard. She doesn’t just read, she studies all about the animals, the proper terms, breed names and uses, disease management, etc. We joke that it’s just some “light” reading before bed. She has really learned to care for her chickens and I know she will be excited to get more animals as she gets older.

Belle

says:

My 3-year-old likes to be read to before bed (of course, reading prolongs bedtime!). A favorite activity of her’s is going to our local library. We get about 10 books a visit and we read some of those 10 over and over and over! I will read several words of a sentence and then she finishes it, or at least says the next word or phrase. Curious George and Fancy Nancy are some of her favorites.

Merry

says:

Ah, we have many fine memories of Curious George!

Bonnie Boucek

says:

I always enjoyed reading to my kids. Now, I love having them read to me too!

Henriette

says:

We love the read alouds, first in the real words and then in our own words

lauren

says:

thanks so much! love reading out loud! so great :)

Judith Martinez

says:

My mom is good at this and I am not. I have made a real effort over the last couple of years to do read alouds with my kids and they love it.

Katherine

says:

Some of the best memories from my childhood are my mom reading to us kids every night after dinner. We grew up loving good literature, so when our television broke, we didn’t bother to fix it for over four years because we had something even better. Additionally, all four of us kids grew up dyslexic. With the exception of being slow readers, you would never know any of us had reading problems, and I believe it’s largely due to our mother hooking us on reading to the point we never gave up when we needed extra help.

kelly g

says:

We’re going on a bear hunt is one of my favorites to read to them, but they are sure enjoying the little house on the prairie books.

Jeanette

says:

Our family’s favorite read a loud has always been Laura Ingalls series. We have 11 children and I have just finished reading it again to my 11 and 7 yr olds. Then we move on to the Caroline Years etc, etc and read all those. We read out loud to our children every evening before bedtime. It is a ritual, that rarely gets skipped, and the children have all loved it. They look forward to that time that they spend with Mom. I also, always read to them Sunday afternoon and evenings. Almost all of our children have become book worms, except one who is severely dyslexic. I wish I had had this program when I was teaching him. We used many different types of programs.

Kayla

says:

Our favorite so far has been Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Not the one I would have picked as the all time favorite, but my opinion doesn’t really count ;-)

Melissa I.

says:

Sleep Baby Sleep by MaryAnn Cusimano Love and Maria Van Lieshout is one of my favorites. Love the way it sounds!

Kristi Burton

says:

Love You Forever!

Tracey

says:

My kids love audio books. We keep several in the car for trips.

Tracy W.

says:

My youngest is 11 and still loves me reading aloud to her. In fact, we are doing the BookShark curriculum for our homeschool, which is literature based. I just finished reading aloud Moccasin Trail to her, which she now claims is her most favorite book. Last week I read aloud The Doll People Set Sail; the newest in the Doll People collection. We really enjoy our read-alouds. She still reads by herself, but she says she’ll want me to read aloud to her for a long time to come yet. I sure hope so…I enjoy it just as much as she does.

Merry

says:

Tracy, I still read to my 15 and 17 year-olds! Hold onto the tradition as long as you can! We use Sonlight, and though they don’t schedule read-alouds for high school, it’s been a great way to get in a few extra books each year, plus we can discuss as we read and enjoy together. It’s also a nice way to work in some classics that might be more of a “reach” without discussion along the way. I remember my 10th grade highschool lit teacher reading chapters out loud to us–I always loved that.

One of my favorites is A Story for Bear, though it always makes me teary-eyed. So well-done.

Molly

says:

My two year old screams and cries if I put him down for a nap or for bed without a storybook!

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