We’ve been told to read out loud to our children, but have you considered the importance of your child reading out loud? This skill doesn’t come naturally to most children. In fact, many balk at the idea of being required to read out loud.
Let’s explore the importance of reading out loud, how you can help your child learn to read out loud, and common pitfalls to help your child avoid.
Why your child should learn to read out loud
Reading out loud is pleasurable and allows us to enjoy worthy words.
Remember the last time you sat down on the couch with a new book in hand and your kids came running to join you? It is pleasurable to listen to someone read a worthy book out loud, especially when it is read well. My husband described The Wind in the Willows as dark chocolate literature because the vocabulary and use of language is so rich.
Reading out loud helps others learn.
I read many of our lessons out loud. My younger daughter needs me to read her lessons to her as she is still learning to read. My older daughter is capable of reading her lessons on her own. I read some of our lessons out loud together because it is one way of building family unity. It also allows us to read books that are beyond their ability to read on their own.
This article explores seven additional benefits of reading out loud.
What your child should read out loud
Your child should read a variety of books out loud to himself and to others. He could read out loud to a younger sibling, cousin, friend, stuffed animal, or pet. Here are some resources for reading out loud. This list is not exhaustive by any means, but is meant to give you some ideas to get started. The first two suggestions are great for children just beginning to read out loud, as the chapters are short.
Mechanics of reading out loud
Here are some key principles to remember when reading out loud for a more enjoyable experience.
- Read with feeling.
- Read fluidly. If your child is still learning to read, he is probably reading somewhat haltingly. Encourage him to read the passage out loud until he can read it fluidly and like a conversation.
- Read with careful enunciation.
- Read with a proper volume and speed.
- Express the author’s meaning as you read. Understanding the author’s meaning comes from intelligent reading.
Tools to help your child read out loud beautifully
Reading stop sign
One daughter reads fast, so fast in fact that I cannot keep up with her and preview her books. (I have to find trusted sources of books or I would be reading all day.) She tends to read out loud fast as well. Reading fast to yourself is okay if you are comprehending what you are reading.
Reading fast out loud is not acceptable because your listener cannot understand and comprehend. To help her slow down, we talked about punctuation and what a comma, period, question mark, and exclamation point mean. I created a little stop sign for her to use. She would place the stop sign at the end of the sentence before beginning to read. This forced her to pause after the sentence and slow down. When she reached the end of the sentence, she moved the stop sign to the end of the next sentence.
Download a PDF of the stop sign to print and attach to a popsicle stick.
Auditory feedback phone and whisper phone
The auditory feedback phone or whisper phone allows children to hear how they sound when they read. We have used both and they really helped my daughters learn how to read with an appropriate volume, speed, and inflection of voice.
Are you helping your child learn to read out loud? Share your tips in the comments below.
This post has been linked to:
Teach Your Child to Read
In this free email course, you will learn how to:
- lay a foundation that will prepare your child to read
- implement Charlotte Mason style reading lessons
- make reading FUN with games and activities
Plus, receive four bonus handouts and a special gift for your emerging reader.