No matter what age we are we all love listening to a good story, so why do we usually only read to children when they are very young? I read six or seven picture books to my son every night until he was about seven and he decided he was too old for stories, but was he? I really wish I had carried on for another few years.
It provides an opportunity for children to enjoy stories and access vocabulary beyond their reading ability and will help prepare them for the next stage in their own reading journey. When children see and hear important people in their lives reading they realise that it is something to aspire to which is valuable, worthwhile and important.
Sharing and reading books that a child has chosen is such a confidence boost to them. It lets them know that you are interested in their opinions, hobbies and ideas and that you want to find out more about them. It also provides an opportunity to share stories that you enjoyed as a child.
If your child is really enjoying a story that you are telling and likes the characters and plot, and they are comfortable sharing some of the reading, choose the best, most interesting and exciting lines and paragraphs for them to read. This will really help them experience how enjoyable reading can be.
It gives you and your child a chance to talk about the characters and plot and for you to explain any words or events that they don't understand. It's not so easy to do this if a child is independently reading a text you are unfamiliar with. In our busy, technological lives, sharing stories is a great way to slow things down at the end of the day and leave children wondering what will happen to the wizard, dragon, troll or hero in the next chapter. This also enhances their own imagination and creative storytelling skills.
The books that we really love as children stay with us all through our lives. I'm going to do my best to help my daughter get a taste of the wonder of Narnia, the adventures of The Famous Five and the magic of Hogwarts by reading them to her so that she can find her very own favourites.
Source: Amazing!, The Best Magazine Subscription For Kids