Back to Gradeschoolers




Reading Aloud
By Sandy Fleming

"Will you please read to me?" This question echoes through homes everywhere. Too often, adults pass off this activity as being a frivolous pastime, less important than doing supper dishes or getting another load of laundry done. Far more than simply a way to occupy a bored child, reading out loud is a vital part of the process of learning to read! Children who are read to early and often develop into more efficient readers and are more likely to become avid readers themselves. So all that's left is how to begin. Here are some suggestions:

• Start Now!
Children begin to learn language at birth. Some experts even believe that language begins to develop BEFORE birth! As soon as your child is born, he or she begins to understand language. All that's missing is the experience and the practice. Therefore, it is very important to talk to your baby as much as possible. Only by having a multitude of experiences with language can your child learn to "decode" the communications of those around him or her. Reading aloud to your baby provides not only the sound of a human voice, but lots of examples of different styles of communication.

• Read Everything
Infants and young children respond well to rhythms and poetry, but even if you read a magazine article to your baby, you will be accomplishing your goal of exposure to language. When children are able to focus, try picture books that label objects. Toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy simple stories and fairy tales. Older children will appreciate chapter books and classics they do not yet have the independent skills to read on their own. Make friends with your local librarian; he or she has a wealth of knowledge to share!

• Snuggle Close
Children need close contact with adults for sound emotional development. Enough said!

• Variety and Repetition are Both Important
Young children are famous for wanting the same story over and over. This repetition helps them develop thinking, logic, and memory skills. Variety will help open new doors in your child's world and help him or her to develop new interests and learning. BOTH are vital parts of reading aloud.

• Keep Reading
Don't stop reading to your children after they start school, or even when they learn to read alone! Just keep a step ahead of their present reading level, so that you can introduce them to evermore exciting literature. Older children may enjoy chapter books, and you may want to consider just reading a small portion of the book to them as a "teaser," then letting the child take over. If a book is not interesting to the child, there is no law that you have to finish it either. If it's one that is generally accepted as "good literature," you may want to try it again in a few months or years. Don't forget to allow your child time to express his or her opinion about the book, to try to predict what will happen next in the story, and to recall what happened during the last reading session. These are all vital skills that your child needs to develop for success in school.

No matter what age your child is, right now is a good time to read aloud! Help him or her develop the skills needed to succeed in school and in life.

Sandy Fleming is an educator, author and workshop facilitator. She resides in southern Michigan with her husband and three daughters. Sandy leads workshops for daycare providers and parents in the region, tutors students, volunteers for Girl Scouts and her church, and teaches online classes for adults and children. She loves to make new friends, so please drop her an e-mail at


Home |Shopping | Advertising | Link To Us | Sponsor a Contest |
| Media | Parent Business Directory | Direct sales Directory |

Privacy Statement. Visit our Liability Disclaimer page. BPO is for entertainment and educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of a professional. Check with your providers before following advice or content herein. ©1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004. BPO is property of the Busy Family Network (BFN), All Rights Reserved. No part of the website, newsletters or other materials can be reproduced in any form without written consent. Parts of the site and materials include, but are not limited to, graphics, copy/content, HTML, Meta tags, template and web layouts or other features. Each web page and its source code is valued at $5000 US. By using any part of any page on BPO without permission, you are agreeing to pay the owner and/or the artist/writer $5,000.

Copyright 1999-2009