Students who enjoy reading and those that reading comes easily to can gobble up books at lightning speed. I am amazed at what the fifth graders are reading and just how quickly they move from novel to novel. A quick walk around their homeroom and I can see the vast difference between those who have superior reading skills and those who struggle.
What are you to do if it is a struggle to get your child to read at all? I wrote some tips on that over here, but one key thing I suggest is to read to your child. Even when they are way beyond the primary school years, it is still a wonderful idea to share in read alouds. My kindergartner who rarely sits still and who tells me on a regular basis about her hatred for reading has always enjoyed read alouds. I decided that this year was the time to start selecting favorites which both a Kindergartner and 3rd grader could enjoy. The interest she shows in hearing books years above her reading level amazes me and to watch her comprehend and discuss these challenging books has been a joy.
So why should you take time to continue this tradition beyond the preschool years?
- Vocabulary Development – Recently, we read a few Roald Dahl books because they are jam packed with amazing words and the opportunity to teach my children new words in a relaxed environment.
- Comprehension Skills- this is the perfect moment to model your thought process while reading by sharing aloud your thoughts about characterization, making predictions, and reflecting on story events.
- Keeping Up- Did you know that your child’s reading level does not catch up to their listening level until about the age of 13? While your child may not be able to decode a book, they can understand it when it is read to them.
- Higher Level Thinking- while the Magic Treehouse series is a great starter series, it certainly doesn’t compare to the complexities of a novel such as Harry Potter. By reading aloud books beyond your child’s reading level you expose them to a more complicated plot and can even discuss difficult topics that could arise in the story.
- Bonding Time- This is a great chance to share some more intimate moments with your child who is not so little any more. That is the best reason of all to start this habit!