The Importance of Reading Aloud to Big Kids

This piece was recently shared in the WES Newsletter. 

by Melissa Taylor

Only 17% of parents of kids ages 9–11 read aloud to their children. Yet 83% of kids ages 6–17 say being read to is something they either loved or liked a lot. (Scholastic’s “Kids & Family Reading ReportTM”)

Fluent Reading

When you read to kids, you’re modeling how to read language. You pause at commas and periods. Your voice inflection changes when you read questions or exclamations. And you can show what you, a fluent reader, do when you come to a word you don’t know.

Helps Expand Their Vocabulary

Kids’ auditory comprehension is higher than their reading comprehension. When you pick a challenging book that your kids can’t read on their own, you are exposing them to a wealth of new vocabulary words. This stretches a child’s language development, particularly if you stop to talk about the meaning of these harder words.

Exposes Kids to New Authors, Texts, and Genres

Reading aloud can get kids hooked on a new author or series of books. Once a child falls in love with the story or author, it’s hard to hold them back from reading it on their own. Plus, reading aloud gives kids a chance to explore genres and texts they wouldn’t normally select.

Builds Awareness and Empathy

Literature is one of the best ways to help kids understand something without experiencing it for themselves. And books do this with all sorts of subjects and concepts, building our children’s understanding of humanity and the world around them.

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