Reading is the most important skill a child can have. If they can’t read, they will struggle in school because reading is the one concept that you use in every single subject. You will need to read Social Studies or History books, the details of Science experiments, and story problems in Math. As I have taught for the past 6 years, I have really noticed just how much of an impact reading together from a young age can have on a student.
Surprisingly, one way of reading that can be the most beneficial to a child is reading out loud to them. There are so many benefits to reading out loud to a child. Before your child can read, it helps them with language development and word to sound recognition. It also helps to develop curiosity and an imagination. After they’re in school, there are still benefits to reading with them. They are able to hear how the book is supposed to sound, which helps them with their fluency: the ability to read smoothly and with ease. This will give them more confidence if they are ever asked to read aloud in school. Following along with your finger as you say the words, helps them to know how to read some words they might not know. In my class, I have a few iPods that I pass out to kids. They pick an audiobook that might be just a little too hard for them to read all alone. The first rule of being able to use the iPod is that they have to follow along while the person reads it to them. Reading also helps expose your child to rare words and situations not usually brought up in day-to-day conversations. It is important for children to learn through books, both fiction and nonfiction. Talk to them about what you, or they, have read after you are finished reading it. Reading out loud also helps your child establish the skill of listening, which will help them in school in the long run. Their teachers will thank you! Reading to your children from an early age helps them establish a positive connection to books and reading.
Above all, the most important reason to read out loud to your child is because it helps you and your child establish a nurturing connection. Spending that one on one time with them is incredibly important in their development. It is amazing how I can look at my 3rd grade class and almost point out those that have parents that read to them and the ones that don’t. The confidence and skills that some of them have are outstanding. My students are required to read at least 100 minutes a week, but, even in 3rd grade, I suggest at least 40 of those minutes to be out loud with a parent or sibling.
Reading out loud to your child will benefit them in so many ways as they are growing up. It will help foster creativity, a love for reading, confidence, and so much more.