Benefits of Having Your Child Read Aloud Everyday

Having children read aloud to an audience is a seldom-practiced way of improving reading skills. Reading aloud holds multiple benefits for kids of all ages, irrespective of their reading competency. Here are some ways in which your child can benefit by practicing to read aloud everyday:

Benefits of Having Your Child Read Aloud Everyday
Reading to an audience is a great way of improving reading skills.

  1. Increased fluency
    When kids practice to read aloud to an audience, they typically read the same words repeatedly until they can read the entire passage with ease. This enables them to read common words automatically, without sounding them out. This automaticity is an important step in gaining fluency. In fact, kids who practice to read aloud show a significant increase in their overall reading fluency.
  2. Increased comprehension
    When children are caught up with sounding out words, they sometimes lose out on reading comprehension. Practicing to read aloud allows kids to become familiar with the words and sentences they will be reading, thereby enabling them to think about the meaning of the text. Children who have practiced to read aloud show a greater understanding of the passage they are reading than children who are struggling with the text for the first time.
  3. Engagement with the text
    When kids practice to read expressively, they make conscious decisions about the intonations and inflections to be used while reading. This thought process involves thinking critically about the meaning of the text and paying attention to both denotation as well as connotation. This in turn helps in the development of critical reading skills in kids.
  4. Increased confidence
    Reading competency is closely tied to confidence in one’s reading abilities. Struggling readers are often further discouraged from reading by the embarrassment of making mistakes while reading to others. On the other hand, children who have practiced to read aloud are a lot more confident about their reading abilities and are further encouraged by their performance while reading aloud to an audience.
  5. Enjoyment of the reading process
    One of the most important ways of motivating a child to read is to create positive associations with reading. When reading is seen as a task, it is done with little enthusiasm or interest. On the other hand, when reading is enjoyed as a positive social and intellectual activity, it is pursued with joy even in the absence of external pressure to do so. Ultimately, the enjoyment of a good read is what brings about a lifelong reading habit and the improved academic performance that comes with it.

Listening to Your Child Read Aloud

It is important for parents to realize that the benefits of reading aloud are dependent on having a good audience. Here are some important tips to keep in mind while listening to your child read aloud:

  • Avoid unnecessary interruptions and corrections: If your child makes a mistake that does not alter the meaning of the text, do not stop him. Also avoid the temptation to correct pronunciation while your child is reading. Where corrections are necessary, wait until your child has reached the end of the sentence and then ask him to try again.
  • Encourage your child to read for meaning and benefit: If you sense that your child is focusing more on getting the words right than on deriving meaning from the text, ask him to rephrase what he has read or to explain the text. One indicator of this is if your child reads a word that does not make sense in the passage and does not stop to correct it.
  • Ensure the text is not too difficult for your child: If your child is making too many mistakes while reading, maybe the text is above his reading abilities. In this case, make sure to replace it with reading material suited to his level. Also, do not push children into reading before they are ready. Teach your toddler to read when the time is right and gradually increase the level of difficulty of the text.

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