For many families, it's the same daily, after-dinner routine: play and relax, then bath, books, and bedtime. This is the norm for many families of young children, which is a wonderful way of introducing books and literacy to young ones.
Reading with children is important, even as they enter those exciting elementary-school years. Here are three reasons to read with your elementary schooler every night:
1. Time together. The number one reason for reading each night is quality time together. Life can become hectic when kids go to elementary school. Between homework, lessons, classes, and meetings, things can get overwhelming. But carving out that small amount of time — even if it's 10-15 minutes, which is just enough time to read one chapter of a book — is worth scheduling into your day.
2. Listening to fluent reading. If you choose to do the reading, this time together allows your child to listen to what fluent reading should sound like. You don't need to overdo voices and sounds — just read naturally and normally. The more your younger readers hear you read, the better!
3. Talking about texts. It doesn't need to be an in-depth discussion about characters, plotline, or style, but you may be surprised at how your conversations evolve after you read together for some time. You can begin by just “thinking aloud” — every few pages, share your thoughts about the text out loud, kind of like a built-in commentary. Your child will hear how you think about and process text as you read, and soon it will become habitual for them to do the same. Over time, incorporate questions or thought-provoking statements and involve your child.
Tonight, grab two books, and ask your child to choose one. Start reading, and you'll be glad you did. It will all help to develop relationships, critical thinking, and better reading comprehension!
Looking for more tips? See expert advice about establishing reading routines at home.
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