reading aloud = important

One of the biggest mistakes we make as parents and teachers is to stop reading out loud to our children when they reach the age of reading faster independently. In doing so, not only do we deprive them of the opportunity to hear these all-important reliably correct, and sophisticated language patterns, we lose the chance to read to them above their level, stretching and expanding their vocabulary, interests, and understanding. We begin to lose the chance to discuss words and their nuance, idioms, cultural expressions, and historical connotations. And they lose something far more valuable than even the linguistic enrichment that oral reading provides; they lose the opportunity to develop attentiveness, the chance to experience the dramatic feeling that a good reader can inject, and even the habit of asking questions about what theyโ€™ve heard. Tragically, because of our hectic, entertainment-saturated, individualistic, test-obsessed, and overscheduled lives, few of us take sufficient time to read out loud to our students, even into their early teensโ€”a sensitive period when understanding of language and understanding of life are woven together and sealed into the intellect (Andrew Pudewa).

I love this! I’m looking forward to reading aloud to my students much oftener this year. It’s one of my favorite things.

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3 Responses

  1. Awesome quote Jess – I love reading to my students too!! Currently I’ve been reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to some Fourth Graders – and have enjoyed helping them learn some new words. ๐Ÿ™‚ It is good to think about kids needing to be read to as they age…and even reading to each other as grown ups sometimes… ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Thanks for this! I am still reading to my children, and plan to continue, but I always appreciate the encouragement. I have wonderful memories of my mom reading to us for school when I was a teenager. I want to pass that on!

  3. Christine, I read Charlie to some fourth graders when I substituted last year! ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s a great book. And yes, reading aloud as grown-ups is great, too! I wish we’d done more of that in my family, but I was the main one who objected when I got to the point where I could read much faster on my own. I didn’t realize what I was missing (until now).

    Amie, thanks for your comment too! Yes, it’s nice to have encouragement from an “expert” even when we already know it’s a good idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

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