It's 2019 and maybe you need an idea for a New Year’s resolution. How about one that will help your child improve their reading skills, encourage the joy of reading and give you a fun way to increase quality family time together? Help your kids develop their love of reading by making it a point to read together every night before bed.
If you have a child who is under 5, you may be thinking, “This sounds familiar” or “I already do this” and you’d be in good company. According to the 2016 Kids & Family Reading Report by Scholastic, 62 percent of parents with children ages 3-5 read aloud to their children 5-7 days a week. However, the report also shows that there has been a drop in parents continuing to read aloud to their children who are older than 5.
Research has shown that reading at home for at least 30 minutes a day increases a child’s reading skills, but as kids get older, it may be harder to motivate them or find books that they enjoy. One way to combat this is by reading aloud to your children. When you read aloud to your child, you can read books that your child may not be able to read yet independently. These books may have more challenging vocabulary, more intricate storylines or more sophisticated topics, but since you are reading them with your child, you can talk about what you are reading. This will not only help them develop their comprehension but will also stimulate interesting conversation. In the days of never-ending to-do lists, activities and electronics, that time together will also strengthen your relationship with your child because they have your undivided attention.
So get comfortable, cuddle up with your child and start reading. You’ll not only have made a resolution that is fun and that you can keep, but you’ll also be making memories and encouraging your child’s love of reading.
Suggested books for reading aloud to older children
The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
Wonder by RJ Palacio
The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
The Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne
I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis
The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkein
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins