If I could choose only one staple for my homeschool, it would be read aloud time. I know my boys are better readers, better writers, better thinkers, and better people because of the time we invested in reading books together.
I hope to inspire you as well with this list of 101 reasons to read aloud to your kids. And don’t worry, if your kids are wiggly, I also have a list of ideas to help them enjoy read-aloud time.
1. Reading to young children boosts literacy.
2. When your children are young, reading aloud supports language development.
3. Because “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” —Emilie Buchwald
4. Reading to young children is a nurturing activity that promotes healthy attachment.
5. Reading aloud to children lays the foundation for future reading success: “The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.” —Jim Trelease
6. Reading makes you bigger on the inside! “Reading enlarges my vision of the world; it helps me understand someone who is different from me. It makes me bigger on the inside.” –Gladys M. Hunt
7. Stories teach life lessons. We learn from characters’ mistakes.
8. Books introduce us to characters who are different than us, but it also shows us we are not really that different—we all experience struggles and emotions.
9. We are inspired by reading about characters who overcome obstacles.
10. Listening to read-alouds helps a child develop empathy by relating to characters in hard situations.
11. You can cultivate curiosity by reading aloud with your child.
12. Reading aloud teaches your child about diverse cultures.
13. Sparks an interest in geography as you read stories set in different places around the globe.
14. Reading aloud is the cheapest way to travel to another country.
15. Reading historical fiction inspires a child to learn more about historical settings, events, and people.
16. Books make us grow. “That is what a book does. It introduces us to people and places we wouldn’t ordinarily know. A good book is a magic gateway into a wider world of wonder, beauty, delight, and adventure. Books are experiences that make us grow, that add something to our inner stature.” – Gladys M. Hunt
17. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss
18. When you read together, you learn together.
19. Reading aloud exposes children to a variety genres they may not choose on their own.
20. Introduces children to diverse writing styles.
21. Poetry is meant to be read aloud: “Truly fine poetry must be read aloud. A good poem does not allow itself to be read in a low voice or silently. If we can read it silently, it is not a valid poem: a poem demands pronunciation. Poetry always remembers that it was an oral art before it was a written art. It remembers that it was first song.”―Jorge Luis Borges
22. Your auditory learner will love you for reading aloud. You will be speaking his language.
23. Expands your child’s speaking vocabulary as they hear words in context.
24. It also boosts your child’s reading vocabulary.
25. Additionally, it will enhance your child’s writing vocabulary.
26. Reading aloud helps your child grasp grammatical concepts.
27. It also helps your child grasp complex language structures.
28. The books you read aloud become mentor texts for your budding writers.
29. Exposure to great writing creates great writers.
30. Your kids may discover authors they love and read more books by those authors.
31-36. Reading aloud offers a natural way to learn concepts in literature:
- Point of View
37. Listening to stories increases your child’s attention span.
38. It also increases your attention span.
39. Reading aloud boosts your child’s listening skills.
40. It also boosts your listening skills.
41. Reading aloud to children helps develop and improve their speaking skills.
42. Models fluent reading–helping our children learn how to read aloud fluently.
43. Helps children learn how to imagine and produce voices for various characters–making them better storytellers.
44. Increases socialization skills as your children will share the stories with family and friends.
45. Children also learn how to summarize as they retell the stories with family and friends.
46. Reading aloud and discussing stories encourages reading comprehension.
47-56. Children will instinctively learn how to:
- Draw Conclusions
- Solve Problems
- Relate Background Knowledge
- Distinguish Between Fact and Opinion
- Find the Main Idea
57. Discussions about read aloud books help students connect events and develop critical thinking skills.
58. Reading stories aloud promotes consistent, meaningful family discussions.
59. Read-alouds bring the entire family together—no matter the differences in age!
60. Shared reading experiences creates a family culture.
61. Reading aloud strengthens your family bond.
62. You will laugh together.
63. You will cry together.
64. Reading aloud is an easy way to connect with your kids.
65. It opens the door to discovering truth and discussing the truths you find.
66. Gives you natural opportunities for discussing your family values.
67. Gives you natural opportunities for discussing difficult topics such as homelessness, abuse, death, and grief.
68. Provides conversation starters at meal times.
69. Gives you an excuse to snuggle with your kids!
70. Reading aloud will gift you with memories of time spent with your children.
71. It can be the most enjoyable part of your homeschool day!
72. Reading aloud introduces students to challenging texts. “If we are always reading aloud something that is more difficult than children can read themselves then when they come to that book later, or books like that, they will be able to read them – which is why even a fifth grade teacher, even a tenth grade teacher, should still be reading to children aloud. There is always something that is too intractable for kids to read on their own.” – Mem Fox
73. Allows a student to experience and understand stories that are beyond their reading ability.
74. Allows a child’s imagination to grow beyond their reading ability.
75. Reading aloud is a great way to introduce classic literature to your kids.
76. Reading aloud can provide a struggling reader with positive literary experiences.
77. Reading aloud strengthens your child’s imagination and creativity.
78. “Reading aloud is a commercial for reading.” – Jim Trelease
79. When you choose books you love to read aloud, your passion shines through and can spark the same passion in your children.
80. Shows your child that you believe making time for reading is important.
81. Reading aloud can renew your love for children’s literature.
82. Provides you with the opportunity to share your favorite books and authors with your children.
83. Reading aloud with your child helps your child’s brain connect reading with pleasure.
84. Read-aloud books create suspense and often have a child begging for “just one more chapter.” (One of my boys began reading chapter books because he had to know what was going to happen next, and he couldn’t wait until the next day’s read aloud time.)
85. It can help your child develop a lifelong love for stories.
86. You get to dig for buried treasure. “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” — Walt Disney
87. Reading aloud gives you the opportunity to bring a book to life for your children as you use your own emotions and voice.
88. You are giving your children the gift of TIME.
89. You are imparting wealth:
“You may have tangible wealth untold.
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be — I had a mother who read to me.”
— Strickland Gillilan
90. You are instilling a rich tradition; your children will likely read to their children.
91. Reading aloud helps create good citizens. Jim Trelease claims, “A nation that does not read much does not know much. And a nation that does not know much is more likely to make poor choices in the home, the marketplace, the jury box, and the voting booth. And those decisions ultimately affect the entire nation…the literate and illiterate.”
92. Because books are(almost always) better than movies!
93. Reading aloud is a free form of entertainment. One of the easiest ways you can entertain kids on a cold, rainy day is to cozy up on the couch with them and read!
94. Reading is also portable entertainment. Grab that book and take it with you to read at the doctor’s office or at your campsite.
95. Reading reduces stress.
96. Reading to your children helps them relax.
97. Reading aloud before bedtime calms the brain and helps you sleep well.
98. Improves your memory.
99. Improves your child’s memory.
100. Reading aloud boosts brain power as it provides a workout for the brain!
101. Because reading to your kids is more fun than cleaning the kitchen. 😉
Do you read aloud to your kids? What reasons would you add?
Tara Beechy says
Yes! Yes to every one of these reasons to read aloud. Number 30 and 61 have been especially true for this mother of boys. There are so many books my kids were not “interested in” until I picked them up and began reading them aloud. Then they were begging for the next chapter! (I love it….it’s my secret weapon. lol) I have a 17 year old that still loves to sit in on group time while I read aloud Lassie, Homer Price, The Reb & the Redcoats and so many more beloved stories to the younger kiddos.
My sister and I recently wrote a post on the importance of building a family library for some of the same reasons you mention here. Thanks for the inspiration!