Raising Bookworms | The Importance of Reading Aloud


If you're reading this...someone taught you to read. A teacher, a parent or most likely a combination of the two? Reading is a life long skill and the magic can and should be instilled in early childhood. This post is the first in a series of three all about READING, with today's focus on reading aloud to your child. I've been inspired to write this post by Reading Magic, a text for adults written by none other than Mem Fox (who we all know and love here in South Australia). This quick and easy read is full of excellent advice on how your child can establish early reading skills before they start school (the Mem Fox website also has a brief but useful 10 tips for parents).

Pictured here are some of my all time favourite Mem Fox books. I’ve seen two and three
year olds ‘read’ Where is the Green Sheep? with looks of pride on their little faces.
     
The following quote has resonated with me over the past 8 years since I graduated from uni…

“if every parent – and every adult caring for a child – read aloud a minimum of three stories a day to the children in their lives, we could probably wipe out illiteracy within one generation” (Mem Fox, Reading Magic, 2001, p 11).

What an incredible thought! A thought that should be shared far and wide! Yes, there is a huge responsibility for Early Years Teachers, but parents also have a significant part to play in laying the foundations for reading success. It's a partnership.

“Experts tell us that children need to hear a thousand stories read aloud before they begin to learn to read for themselves” 
(Mem Fox, Reading Magic, 2001 p 14).

Reading time with your child should be fun, enjoyable, a joy – not a chore. Young children love books with repetition, rhyming words, sing-song language and pictures that support the text (and perhaps most importantly, they love spending time with you!) Try to use expression in your voice when reading to your child (think high/low, loud/soft, fast/slow and pause where appropriate). Show enthusiasm, make jokes, use eye contact and facial expressions. And don't worry too much about formally 'teaching' them...“Entertainment is the teacher.” (Mem Fox, Reading Magic, 2001 p48).
To summarise Mem's three secrets of reading (which must go hand in hand)
1. Understanding print (letters make up words, and words make up sentences, and sentences make up books)
2. Understanding language (rhyme, repetition, making predictions about what word comes next, engaging in meaningful discussions)
3. Understanding how the world works (general knowledge & comprehension of what has been read)

So I'll leave you with this thought to ponder (source: Pinterest) ...


... and no age is too young to start reading aloud to your child.

If you'd like to learn more, here's a link to the Mem Fox website http://memfox.com/.
This link is particularly useful to hear Mem reading aloud some of her stories.

Please check back in soon for the second post in the "Raising Bookworms" series with some of my favourite books and typical skills for each age group.

Thanks for READING :)
Lauren

3 comments

  1. Came across your blog from the Love to Learn linky and glad I did! This is a great selection of books by an Author whom I have not read from. Will be on the lookout for these books as they look great!

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  2. Thank you so much Susen for taking the time to leave a comment. I have found lately that since I've been participating in more link ups I am getting more pageviews which is awesome. Mem Fox is an amazing and well known Australian author. I highly recommend you check out some of her work. I'll have a look at your blog too :)

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  3. I'll have to check out some of Mem Fox's books! Thanks for sharing at the Love to Learn Linky.

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