Why Read Aloud?
Just like healthy bodies need healthy foods, our growing children need books and conversation to grow healthy minds and to be successful readers. Recent studies show that the roots of reading skills are started in oral communication. Language skills are learned when you talk and listen to children and as they talk and listen to you. When you listen, speak, sing and read you are helping to foster your child's language skills.
Reading aloud to children is important food for the mind. According to the National Commission of Reading, "The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children."
When you are reading to a child you are not only feeding his mind, you are participating in a positive activity that nourishes relationships. It strengthens communication skills. While you are having fun, children build listening skills, grow their vocabulary, sharpen their memory and get ready to learn to read for themselves.
Recommended Reads for Parents
Want to learn more about how reading positively impacts your relationship with your child and his or her academic success? The following titles are excellent informational texts for parents and educators. The first two particularly belong on any parent's bookshelf!
Super Stories to Read with Your Child
It is the rare book that is not good for read aloud. Almost any story is better when it is shared. The two anthologies below have collections of stories which particularly lend themselves to being read aloud.
- The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease
- How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell
- The Power of Reading by Stephen Krashen
Also, check out the audio book sections of the public library for stories. Take an audio book on your next family road trip or listen to a book on the way to and from taking your child to school each day!
- Hey! Listen to This: Stories to Read Aloud edited by Jim Trelease
- Read All About It! Great Read-Aloud Stories, Poems, & Newspaper Articles for Preteens & Teens edited by Jim Trelease
Don't limit yourself to reading books aloud. Share the comics over your Sunday morning cereal. Read a newspaper or magazine article with your child and discuss what you each think about the issue at hand.
The following websites offer an array of reading possibilities based on your child's age, interest, reading ability, gender, language and more.
All about books for boys!
A Book and a Hug
Searchable database of recommended titles based on age, reading ability, gender, and interest. Created by a public children's librarian.
Read Kiddo Read
Recommended titles and reviews by a teacher-librarian with an outstanding track record of finding books kids love!
Suggested titles for read aloud as well as information on why reading aloud or reading together is a vital and fun component to developing life-long reading habits.
A collection of book reviews for children's, middle grades, and young adult titles written by librarians and book lovers from all over the web.
The PlanetEsme Plan
A book-a-day blog by famous Readiologist, Esme Raji Codell, one of the most inspiring and enthusiastic promoters of read aloud and children's literature in education today.
ALSC Notable Children's Books
The Association for Library Service Children (a branch of the American Library Association) selects the best in children's literature annually and marks these titles on their "Notables" list. Books, videos, and recordings are categorized for younger readers, middle readers, older readers, and all ages.
The Association for Library Service to Children also gives out a number of awards to books and authors for excellence in children's literature, illustration, breadth of work, nonfiction, and a variety of other criteria. Some of the more famous awards are the Newbery and Caldecott
. Find all the winners here!
You teach your children how to be safe in the real world (i.e. how to cross the street safely, not to talk to strangers, to be kind and polite to friends and acquaintances, not to give out personal information to strangers, to avoid dangerous places, etc.) Parents and educators have to work together to teach children similar safety measures in the online world. See Common Sense Media: Parent Concerns. There are more Parent Technology Resources on the District website.