Here’s why: reading aloud to my kids is one of the best things I ever did – and there’s something about reading to kids that a lot of people don’t know:
You can – and should – keep reading to them, even when they’re older.
I would have thought the same thing too, that reading aloud stops when kids can read themselves, except one of my kids was diagnosed with dyslexia at 4.
You know the saying among teachers that, “They learn to read till 3rd grade and then they read to learn”? Well, as my daughter painstakingly learned to read, with her awesome teachers who patiently went over the nuts and bolts of reading, I saw my role as making sure her general knowledge didn’t fall behind.
When all her little friends were talking about Harry Potter, she could too. I lost count of how many times I read those books aloud to her and her non-dyslexic brother. Each time a new one came out, we would reread the previous ones in anticipation. And by the way, Harry Potter is awesome to read aloud. When you get to dialogue from Hagrid, just read what’s in front of you and a cool accent will come out.
The Narnia Chronicles, His Dark Materials, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the Percy Jackson books, the Peter and the Star Catchers series, Sherlock Holmes stories (a surprise hit): our family loved nothing better than to settle into a good long read.
And we haven’t stopped. Last summer, my kids (ages 15 and 18) took turns reading Jane Eyre aloud.
In that novel, incidentally, characters spend their evenings reading aloud to each other. For fun.
Which it is.