How Reading Aloud Can Help You Bond With Your Kids and Make Them Better Readers

We’ve all heard about the benefits of learning to read quietly and independently. A big part of learning at school is all about reading, but it’s not always easy to find time for more reading at home.

Families have busy schedules filled with after-school activities and homework. Plus — let’s be honest — with all the tech at kids’ fingertips and school days already filled with required reading, it can be hard convincing kids that reading isn’t a chore.

But Keisha Siriboe says there is a way, and it doesn’t have to be independent or quiet! Her solution: reading aloud as a family.

Siriboe is a Baltimore-based early childhood literacy consultant with a Ph.D. in early childhood education. She has researched education strategies and student leadership development all over the world and says reading aloud can help people with stress management, hope and resilience.

The emotional benefits of reading aloud

Reading with your child is a practice that creates space for deeper independent learning and exploring. It doesn’t matter if it’s a traditional book, graphic novel, non-fiction or historical fiction, it all counts. What matters most is taking the time to dive deeper.

Use reading aloud to start conversations that can help your child deal with the now of wherever we are in the world. It could lead to something you may not have expected. For example, when it comes to anxiety and worry, a caregiver could use a picture book that specifically deals with that topic and turn that into an opportunity for a child to share what worries they are carrying.

Talk, read, play and sing

Siriboe likes to break down the global possibilities of reading into four key components:

Talk. She says take a moment to talk about the subject matter of the book, comic or recipe with your kids. If the book you’re going to read is about wellness or meditation, you may want to share some of your favorite breathing exercises or ask your kiddo what coping skills they may have learned at school.

The next component is to read. Start looking at the words, finding the characters, settings and storyline of the book. Explore how the characters in the story engage with each other and their environment.

Then play. Perhaps you and your child want to role-play some scenarios of what the character is experiencing in the real world or explore what it would be like to live inside the character’s world.

The last thing is to sing. Come up with your own song or use some online resources to find some silly songs that can help you bring a story to life. Siriboe emphasizes that this whole experience should be filled with joy and laughter.

The goal is to go past the idea of phonetics alone and really think about bonding with your child. That may mean the child gets to lead instead of the adult. At the end of the day, both the caregiver and child should hopefully be having fun.

The benefits of reading aloud for neurodiverse learners

It’s important to remember that every child learns differently. Siriboe says parents may need to think outside the pages of a book to connect and help a neurodiverse child thrive. Allowing kids who learn differently opportunities to experience success within literacy can help build confidence and spark that fire for reading and storytelling.

Excerpted from “How reading aloud can help you bond with your kids and make them better readers” from NPR. Read the full article online for additional information, including helping kids who may not take to reading and taking the first step to start reading aloud.

Listen to the to the audio version of this story below:

Source: NPR | How reading aloud can help you bond with your kids and make them better readers, | © 2021 npr

If you have concerns about your child, CHC Care Coordinators can arrange a free 30-minute consultation so you can explore options with an expert. We invite you to call or email us at 650.688.3625 or to set up an initial Parent Consultation appointment. CHC teletherapy services are available now.

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