I fondly remember spending my childhood propped up on my older sisters lap listening to her exaggerated tone as she read to me. I remember my mother never failing to read me a bedtime story. Then, as I turned into a pre-teen I remember reading The Baby Sitters Club, Goosbumps, and other similar books. My love of reading has continued to this day. I can say one thing. I aced literature in school. I was far above most of the class in reading comprehension. I sincerely believe that my success was due to the love of reading instilled into me as a child.
Sadly, today, many children would rather sit in front of the television all day watching their favorite programs or playing video games. While I see nothing wrong with watching television from time to time or playing video games once in awhile, I find it disturbing that some parents allow their children to spend all their free time in this manner. It’s best to be well rounded. Some television programs certainly promote learning and reading. However, I believe it makes a greater impact on the child when his/her parent(s) actually sit down and read together.
Here are some benefits of reading with children. Hopefully they will inspire us to try to set aside some time to read with our children. It could make a huge difference in their lives and ours!
Some Benefits of Reading Aloud
By: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools. (1999)
Reading aloud to children in any language prepares them to learn to read English. Learn about the benefits in this article.
Young children learn a great deal when books are read aloud to them.
They learn about the internal structure of stories – how they begin, different types of conflicts, and possible solutions. They sometimes learn empathy for others and see other sides to a story, such as understanding what the main character is going through (whether person or animal), be it fear, anger, or humility.
Reading aloud provides opportunities for students to view persons not in their immediate environment, for example the elderly, wise persons, or people from different ethnic backgrounds or social status. And through books, children can travel to far away lands and learn about life in the jungle or on a cattle ranch.
In reading books, children learn what is considered proper or appropriate behavior for their culture or that of others. Depending on the story, they could learn about the need to respect the elderly, how to ask for forgiveness, or how to show you’re sorry.
Finally, when reading fairy tales or modern fantasy, children learn how to use their imagination, to view situations from various perspectives, and to know that events can be seen from different viewpoints.
Adapted and excerpted from “Reading Children’s Books: There’s More to it than Meets the Eye” (1999). ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools.
Some good websites for parents: