Reading aloud is important. We've all heard the many reasons why it's crucial to read to your young kids. In fact, we should start reading to them as soon as they are babies. It's the first step on that reading path and it's an integral part of their education.
But, is that all? To me, reading aloud is not just about the educational benefits, it's about so much more.
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I recently read The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma. I had been wanting to read it for awhile now. I love books and reading has always been important to me. I knew I would love the book and I was right.
This book is a memoir of the books Alice and her father shared. When Alice was 9, her father made a promise to read to her every night for 100 nights. That promise became a streak that lasted 3218 days. The last day Alice's father read aloud to her was her first day of college. This book is not just a book about reading. It's about so much more. Because reading is always about so much more.
There has never been any doubt in my mind that I would read aloud to my children and read aloud often. My Mom made sure there were always plenty of books in our house and that we took frequent trips to the library. (Thank you Mom!) I want to do the same for my own girls. I hope to still be reading aloud to my girls even after they can read themselves. I hope to be reading aloud to my girls for a long, long time.
It's about the connection...
It's a simple way to connect on a daily basis. You're in the same place, the same story. Maybe you're traveling together to Narnia, Hogwarts, or the 100 Acre Woods. No matter where, you're there together and that's important. You'll share an experience. You'll share points of reference. Maybe you'll even share an inside joke. All of it is important. And all of it can be achieved by reading aloud together.
It keeps you talking...
My girls and I have been reading the Little House books together. We're not just reading them, we're talking about them, asking questions, and trying to understand a very different way of life. They are infinitely fascinated by Laura's life and I encourage their curiosity every step of the way.
Reading aloud can help you introduce difficult topics to your kids such as death, war, or racism. I don't plan on shying away from such topics once my girls are older. I plan on opening that door and embracing those discussions. Reading aloud can make that happen and that's important.
Like Alice's father did all those years before...
I promise to read aloud to my girls everyday.
Will you join me?