Reading aloud to my children is something that I enjoy and judging by the number of requests, so do the children. I have read to all five. These are some personal thoughts about what reading aloud has and has not achieved for our family.
Reading Aloud has led to a love of books. This has been particularly important for the child who has found learning to read more difficult. Interestingly, the child who likes books least has probably had the least read aloud time.
Reading Aloud has helped active little boys sit still and listen. I started to read to all the children before they could crawl. The busy little boys loved books before they could move which meant that when they were restless toddlers they still loved to cuddle up for a book. This was particularly beneficial when feeding the baby or when their energy exceeded mine.
Reading Aloud has boosted vocabulary. I don't always explain difficult words particularly when they are obvious from the context. This hasn't stopped the children picking them up and using them.
Reading Aloud has lead to shared jokes, experiences and points of reference. "You remember when...".
Reading Aloud has lead to some appreciation of the correct way to hold a book, how to respect it and which way the pages turn.
BUT Reading Aloud has not lead to early reading. Yes, I have run my finger under the words, on occasion, and pointed out words but my children have needed separate reading instruction and none of them have been especially early readers.
To read the other post in this mini-series, please click: Reading Aloud: 11 Practical Thoughts.
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