Creating *Life-time* Readers

MaiStoryBook objective: create *life-time* readers.

Did you know: The single most important activity for building knowledge for reading success is *reading aloud to children.* In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Education Commission on Reading, reading aloud is a practice that should be continued throughout ALL grades. That’s right — story time in high school just became a thing. *well actually, it should’ve already been a thing.* But I digress.

The brain’s first exposure to vocabulary and words: the ears. Yes, conversation with your child is beneficial *Warning: beware baby talk— no new vocabulary will spring from that* but reading aloud goes beyond conversation. (!Bonus fact – A good children’s book is 3x richer in vocabulary than conversation- woah! In fact, the average adult uses a common-word vocabulary of only about 10,000 words. Words found in more complicated ideas and print are left out. How to give children access to these *rare* words? Read Aloud Books ).

Back to the story time in High School idea. So why is it helpful to read aloud to children who can already read? Wouldn’t that discourage them from reading on their own? Well first, a child’s reading level and listening level are not the same. For example, children who may be reading on a first-grade level, can listen to and comprehend stories on a 4th grade level or higher. That’s right, your 5 year old may not be able to read Harry Potter, but that doesn’t mean they should miss out on the magic and mayhem. Clear your throat, grab a blanket and a bowl of popcorn, maybe some cocoa for that sweet and salty combo, and huddle together for a read aloud journey into the magical wizarding world with your little one.

Most importantly, in order to create life-time readers, we have to develop the *want-to* aspect of reading, not just the *how-to.* How reading aloud builds the want-to muscle:

  • It conditions the child to associate reading with pleasure
  • Creates background knowledge
  • Build’s book vocabulary
  • Provides a reading role model

An Early Childhood Longitudinal Study found that kindergarten children who had been read to at least 3x a week had significantly greater phonemic awareness (word and letter sound awareness~a necessary component to reading) than children who were read to less often, and were twice as likely to score in the top 25% in reading readiness. The most essential factor: a shared reading experience~~ meaning its not just enough to set your child up next to a story time tablet app. What makes reading aloud  a successful reading development tool is the discussion with your child before and after the book, and the questions and conversation throughout the reading.

So how to do this effective shared reading? The MaiStoryBook Library collection offers video examples of guided, shared-reading read alouds, along with resources and activities to enrich you and your child’s reading experience. Check out the collection, featuring a new book every Friday. Welcome your child into the wonders and world of reading. Together, we can create a new generation of *life-time readers*

*This post sums up information that can be found in further depth in this article by Jim Release, author of the Read-Aloud Handbook*

*~Until next time, Happy reading~*

2 Replies to “Creating *Life-time* Readers”

  1. Very interesting information! I absolutely agree that it is not enough to teach children how to read; we also need to teach them to WANT to read. Happy reading!

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