Reading aloud to and with the girls is pretty much my favorite thing to do. For years, we all read together multiple times a day. When the girls were tiny, we’d pass hours working our way through big canvas bags of picture books that I collected at the library. As they grew, our read aloud rhythms have shifted but read aloud is always a part of every day.
There are certainly periods of time when we read more and then others when we read less. Right now with the short, dark days and super cold temperatures, we seem to be in a phase of lots of read aloud time. Caroline leaves for school almost an hour before Katherine, so we are able to sneak in picture books in the morning when things are quiet. And then in the evenings, if everyone has finished their reading for school, we are all reading aloud together again. We had stopped doing this for a long time. Caroline was reading a lot on her own so I was reading aloud to Katherine after she read to herself. And then, enter The World According to Humphrey, our first ever all school read aloud. We had read a few of the Humphrey books together a few years ago after Caroline’s fourth grade teacher read them to the class and we were glad to have Humphrey back.
And the best part of the Humphrey read aloud? Caroline does the reading. I love to read aloud but who doesn’t love to be read to? As the mom, this doesn’t happen very much so it is a treat. We tried to swap roles once but truth be told, Caroline does an awesome Humphrey voice and mine is pretty sad. So a tradition was born.
While I know that reading aloud is fun and educationally, super important, I always love when a new study comes out to support reading aloud. I especially love it when the study supports reading aloud to and with older kids. Parents do a great job of reading to their little guys; it’s just natural. The real work comes once the kids can read on their own.
Since 2006, the folks at Scholastic have commissioned a study to research reading habits titled “The Kids and Family Reading Report”. If you are a read-aloud geek like me, please click through and read the whole report. It is super, super interesting. If this doesn’t sound super, super interesting to you, then stick around here because I am going to be talking about a lot of different pieces from this report.
There are many critical findings in the report but one of the simplest is the link between being read aloud to and a love of reading independently. The study found that..
“Reading aloud through elementary school seemed to be connected to a love of reading generally. According to the report, 41 percent of frequent readers ages 6 to 10 were read aloud to at home, while only 13 percent of infrequent readers were being read to.”
There is always lots of debate about how reading is taught in the schools and there is certainly a lot I have to say on that subject but as parents, the home is where we get to make the decisions. For me, the Scholastic reports gives me at least one task that I can easily complete. If I want to continue my girls down the reading path, I need to keep reading aloud.
I think I can do that. More to come on reading aloud in general and The Kid and Family Reading Report specifically.