Your child may be spending six-hour days at Mount Prospect School, but don’t forget that a child’s success in school depends heavily on parental involvement with the education process. One of the most important skills your child will develop is reading, a lifelong skill necessary for success in our technological world. Reading should also be a lifelong joy, and you can help set the stage. Reading out loud to your children can never start too early or continue too late. The benefits are numerous.
With preschoolers and early elementary students, you are preparing them for being able to read on their own. They are learning that stories have a sequence, that pages are to be turned, that there is a beginning, middle and end to a story. You are expanding their horizons and increasing their familiarity with language. Even if your child is a fluent early reader, don’t stop reading out loud. When you read out loud to your children, you are enriching their imaginations and their vocabulary. You are exposing them to well constructed writing and sharing one of life’s greatest pleasures. All of this nuance, language and style are absorbed, and you will see the rewards of your efforts you’re your student’s greater enthusiasm for literature and improved comprehension and enhanced writing skills.
Looking for some good read alouds? Get your hands on a copy of Jim Trelease’s Read Aloud Handbook for great book lists and even more compelling reasons why reading out loud can be a family pleasure that produces academic improvement. Or visit his website at http://www.trelease-on-reading.com/. You can also visit Teachers and Families: TogetheRead at http://www.teachersandfamilies.com/open/tr/index.cfm. We all lead busy lives, but the 20 minutes or so that you spend reading with your child is a small moment of pure pleasure that you won’t want to miss.