Reading Aloud to Your Children

Reading aloud to your children is one of the best things you can do. When one of my children asks me to read them a book, it is very hard for me turn them down! Seriously, my heart warms up at the thought of snuggling with them while we read.

Some of our favorite times is reading together on the couch. When they ask me to read to them, it is an invitation into their world. They are asking me to delight in a story that delights them. It's also an invitation to love on them, snuggle with them and to spend time with them. How can I resist???

Reading aloud can also be a tool to help your children get through a difficult time in life. It allows them (and us!) to forget our troubles for a spell and enter another world where we can take a break from the trials that may be surrounding us. Of course, I teach my children to go to their Heavenly Father when we have needs, but this can still be a tool to help give them security and dependability during difficult times. I've noticed this especially when we are reading a chapter book. When we sit down to read, the pressures of life are forgotten as we enter the world of our favorite character!

There are many benefits to reading aloud!  If your child's adorable pleading face isn't enough to convince you that you should read aloud, then here is some interesting information from Jim Trelease's Read Aloud Handbook. Perhaps this will help motivate you to make reading aloud a family priority.

How can something so simple as reading aloud to a child be so effective?

"We start with the brain. As lumber is the primary support for building a house, words are the primary structure for learning. And there are really only two efficient ways to get words into a person's brain: either through the eye or through the ear. Since it'll be years before the eye is used for reading, the best source for ideas and brain building in a young child becomes the ear. What we send into that ear becomes the "sound" foundation for the rest of the child's "brain house." Those meaningful sounds in the ear now will help the child make sense of the words coming in through the eye later when learning to read.

We read to children for all the same reasons we talk with children: to reassure, to entertain, to bond; to inform or explain, to arouse curiosity, to inspire. But in reading aloud, we also:

•Condition the child’s brain to associate reading with pleasure
•Create background knowledge
•Build vocabulary

•Provide a reading role model

One factor hidden in the decline of students' recreational reading is that it coincides with a decline in the amount of time adults read to them. By middle school, almost no one is reading aloud to students. If each read-aloud is a commercial for the pleasures of reading, then a decline in advertising would naturally be reflected in a decline in students recreational reading."

As you can see, these are just a few reasons why it's good to read aloud to your child. But, perhaps you don't have your own children to read to? Well, is there a child in your life that you could read to? You could build some precious memories with a niece or nephew or perhaps a single mom's child. Consider who you could spend some extra time reading with.

For more information about reading aloud, go here. You will find more information about the benefits of reading aloud. It is a very informative website!

Some absolute favorites in our house are the books in the Little House on the Prairie Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. You can also find accompanying lap books which my children also love.

However, reading aloud doesn't have to just be chapter books.  Here are a few of our family favorites:

The Big Green Pocketbook
The Big Green Pocketbook

The Rag Coat
The Rag Coat

Are You My Mother? (see picture below!)

Product Details

If Jesus Came to My House
If Jesus Came to My House (reillustrated) (HarperBlessings)

Lentil (Picture Puffins)

Guess How Much I Love You
Guess How Much I Love You

Jesse Bear, What will You Wear?
Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?

(I have a cute story about this one. This past summer the kids were outside playing and I heard Carter saying, "Boo Hoo! We want our independence too!" My first thought was, what naughty cartoon has he been watching declaring his independence like that?! I asked him where he heard it and he said, "From that book you were reading to us. You know, Madeline." What? Oh, that's right..."Boo hoo, we want our appendix out too!" Too funny!)

This picture was taken Carter was 2 years old and we read this book so often he had it completely memorized! It was ADORABLE to hear him read it. Thankfully, we have it on video!

So, the next time your child asks you to read a book, please do so. You  won't regret the bonding time you get while snuggling with your child because before you know it they'll be asking if they can borrow your car--not time on your lap!
Read more about our favorite books here.

What are some favorite books that you read in your family? Please share! I am always interested in hearing about great books.

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Dana said...

(Dana) Jim & Ethan have read most of the Chronicles of Narnia Series. He just got a few of the Magic Tree House books for Christmas so we'll be starting on those soon. Owen has a few favorites - mostly Dr. Suess. We love reading too! :)

Shelly Marie said...

We the love the Junie B. Jones books for Brooklyn and the boys love anything read to them. :) we love reading too!

Russell and Bethany Sheets said...

thanks for sharing some of your family favorites. i added them all to our amazon wishlist! we are enjoying
It's Time For Bed, by Mem Fox
books by Sandra Boynton
love the classic Cordoroy book
and always looking for more books about God/Jesus

Thanks for this post!

Rita said...

I loved reading this post and you are so right. I love to read and hope my two boys will feel the same love for books as I do. I try to read to them all of the time.

We have so many favorite books it is hard to list any. But right now we are really into the original Babar series.

becky@purposefulhomemaking.com said...

Great idea about the Narnia series! We'll have to start that next!

Bethany, Good for you to read to Sadie Grace at such a young age! I'm glad to hear it. :) If you want more books about Jesus you will LOVE If Jesus Came to My House!!!

Wow! It's been a long time since I've thought about the Babar series. What age is that for? Thanks for suggesting it!

Unknown said...

My favorite growing up was definitely "are you my mother" but my mom and I also went through the "Chronicles of Narnia" and "Little House on the Prairie" as well... I loved reading as a child, and still do. I can't wait for the day that Aria stops trying to eat the books and actually listens :)

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