My son asks me to read to him even though he can read. Should I?


Studies show that reading aloud to your child is the most important thing you can do to help build skills for future reading success. As children listen to books read aloud at any age, they can gain access to text that is more challenging than they could tackle on their own. This exposure helps young readers build oral vocabulary, practice visualizing what they hear, foster listening comprehension skills that are related to overall reading comprehension, and develop the sense that reading is an enjoyable, worthwhile activity that fosters imagination and creativity. As you read to your child, it’s important to keep the experience active and fun. Make books come to life by giving characters different voices and adding drama to the narration. This helps children realize that beneath the surface of the text, there is a great story filled with imagination. Encourage your child to interact with the reading material. Ask questions (What do you think the king will do next?), think aloud (That starfish reminds me of the one we saw on our trip to the beach), and encourage your child to interrupt you if there is an unfamiliar word.

Carolyn James, Ph.D.

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