As homeschoolers, we want our children not only to learn to read, but to become avid readers. The Read-Aloud Handbook, written by Jim Trelease, helps the homeschooling parent do just that: teach children to want to read.
Trelease not only explains why parents should read aloud to their children, but he also gives clear directions on how to do so. We read to children, he states, for the same reasons we talk to them: to bond with them, to entertain them, and to inform them. But when we read aloud to them, we are actually accomplishing much more: we build their vocabularies, provide them with a reading role model, and help them associate the activity of reading with pleasure.
Once convinced of the benefits of reading aloud to your children, you can move on to the next chapter, where Trelease gives directions as to when to begin and end reading aloud. As early as you begin talking to your child, Trelease says, you can begin reading to her. But don’t stop when she’s older and can read on her own. Children enjoy being read to even into their early adolescent and teen years.
The Read-Aloud Handbook also discusses the different stages and the dos and don’ts of reading aloud. For example, do read as often as you have time to read, and do start with picture books, moving on to longer books with fewer illustrations and more text. Do slow down when you’re reading, and do preview the books before you read them. Don’t read stories that you don’t enjoy, and don’t overwhelm your child with a book that is above their intellectual or emotional level.
So where do you being? The author has thought of that as well, including a section at the back of the book with the titles, authors, reading levels, and descriptions of 1,000 books that are ideal for reading aloud. With The Read-Aloud Handbook, you’ll have all the information you need to join your child on the sofa – and read!
Guest Blogger: Samantha Bell
Photo from Trelease-on-reading.com