I’d like to share one of the best and most important learning strategies that every family can apply to their homeschool program today. It takes up only a tiny portion of the day but has lasting and profound effects on the entire household. It is fun for all ages and best of all it’s free! What could this amazing learning strategy be? Simple. Reading aloud.
Reading is such a fundamentally important skill. It is the foundation for a strong education. One of the best ways to create a firm foundation for the learners in your home is to start reading to them from the very beginning.
For the very young child, being read aloud to sends a multitude of important messages. The time spent with the reading parent is a vitally important bonding time. The young child gets the message that the act of reading is important, fun, and desirable. Even though the child may not begin to read himself for several years, the underlying knowledge needed for reading success is being developed.
As a child enters his emerging reader years, the act of being read to still maintains a place of importance. Motivation becomes a key factor in reading success and being read aloud to keeps that motivation alive. It shows that reading is important and is a skill valued by the family. While the emerging reader listens, he takes note of the sounds of words, how punctuation is used, and begins to develop a personal vocabulary.
One might think that reading to an older child is not a valuable exercise, but that is far from the truth. Reading aloud may motivate a reluctant reader to try material previously thought too difficult. Reading aloud to older readers also stimulates fluency and vocabulary growth. In addition, taking the time to discuss the reading material is excellent preparation for higher-level critical thinking and writing.
It is so simple! Setting aside a 10-20 minute block of time each day for reading aloud will benefit your family at all levels of learning. What a wonderfully productive way to spend quality time together!
Originally posted on May 19, 2010