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The Reading Aloud Handbook

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BY MIKAYLA SIEDENTOPF

In my recent education course, Reading Theory, we have been discussing the brilliant work and research done in “The Read-Aloud Handbook” by Jim Trelease. The book itself contains information so that parents and educators may become more aware of the benefits that reading aloud to children holds. The “Read-Aloud Handbook” also contains a giant treasury of recognized literature, recommended for children and adults. In this piece, I would like to give insight into some of the statistics on reading aloud, as well as information on successful tips for the parents of young children.

Many may ask: at what age should I start reading aloud to my child? The answer is – “If a child is old enough to talk to, she’s old enough to read to.” When teaching a child to read, it is important to remember; “the early reader should arrive at the skill naturally, [and] on his own.”

If the child loses interest due to the pressure of the parent, they will most likely become discouraged, and be turned off by reading. A child spends 900 hours a year in school, and an astonishing 7,800 hours outside of school. How interested a child is in reading has shown a strong correlation between how many books and print spreads are displayed in the home as well.

When reading to a child, the adult is listing off numerous syllables and sounds, adding to a child’s vocabulary. The mistake many make is stopping too early when reading aloud. At any age, reading aloud increases the abilities of a child; it operates as a advantage. In an attempt to get ahead, parents also spend hundreds of dollars on phonics games or pay for a tutor when their child is only four years old. It is not necessarily the answer to ensuring their child becomes a ‘little genius.’ The most simple and effective way to increasing the listening and reading comprehension of young children is to simply read to them.

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