Reading out loud to your child is one of the best things you can do in preparation for school and to help him or her develop a love of learning and strong language skills. If your baby is 6 months old or younger, you can boost the benefits of reading out loud to Bub by choosing black and white baby books as young babies and newborns respond best to high-contrast black and white images.
After talking to some other mothers on Facebook one day, I became interested in learning about the shared reading practices of Australian families. I wanted to know who reads out loud to Aussie kids, how long our children are being read out loud to, whether shared reading is decreasing and what would encourage families to do more shared reading. I found some data but not a great deal and there were some issues with some of what I did find so I decided to do my own little study and publish the results on my blog so that others could learn from it.
In a survey I recently conducted, one of the most common reasons why parents and carers didn’t read out loud to their children more was because either they or their children didn’t have enough time. Given how important it is to read out loud to children, I thought I’d share some tips on how to build more shared reading into your daily routine.
Just because your child can read independently doesn’t mean you should stop reading out loud to them
A survey by Scholastic (Australian Kids and Family Reading Report) found that 20% of parents stopped reading to their children before they turned nine. Yet 36% of children aged 6-11 whose parents had stopped reading to them wished their parents hadn’t stopped.
Reading out loud is incredibly important for kids so ceasing the practice isn’t just a disappointment. It can also have ramifications for their literacy.
In a recent post, I talked about the many benefits of reading out loud to your child (or a child you care for). Many parents and carers wonder though when they should start reading to their young charges. The short answer is as soon as possible after birth, if not before. Read on to learn enough to decide when you will start reading to the little one in your life.
Reading out loud is one of the best things you can do for your child (or any child you care for). Regularly sharing stories with your child is critical for helping him/her to develop strong literacy skills, a good vocabulary and a lively imagination (Melbourne Child Psychology & School Psychology Services). I think you’ll agree that most of us expect these sorts of benefits from reading but there are a wide variety of other benefits that are more unexpected, such as social-emotional skills. If you need some motivation to make reading out loud to your child a regular event, check out the benefits below.
Death’s Mistress by Terry Goodkind
3 out of 5 stars
Let me start by saying I love Terry Goodkind’s writing – well some of it anyway. I love his Sword of Truth series to bits and have read many of the books more than 10 times each. In fact, those books have been a key inspiration for my first fantasy novel (in progress). I believe I have read every book he’s written, including Nest (a thriller) and The Law of Nines (set in ‘our world’), indeed I own all but Death’s Mistress which I borrowed from the library, but unfortunately I’ve been really disappointed with his last few novels and Death’s Mistress is sadly no different. I’m even glad I didn’t take the leap and buy it (though I do actually feel guilty for not supporting one of my favourite authors in that way).
The Mapmaker Chronicles: Race to the End of the World by A. L. Tait
4 out of 5 stars
A contest, unknown lands and a reluctant traveller make ‘Race to the End of the World’ an engaging adventure story for children aged 9 and over. And while I thought the premise was a little weak, I loved that A. L. Tait has used sophisticated language that will challenge young readers.
Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell
3 out of 5 stars
Patricia Cornwell’s ‘Book of the Dead’ has an interesting premise and plenty of intrigue but for me, the execution let it down.