Research has shown that reading out loud to children is the single most important thing a parent can do to prepare a child for future academic success. Young children learn a great deal when books are read aloud to them. You have the opportunity during your read-aloud time to share in the excitement and emotions as children learn about the structure of stories—how they begin, different types of conflicts, and possible solutions.
Children learn to know that events can be seen from different viewpoints, how to use their imagination, and how to view situations from various perspectives. Being read to also helps a child learn the connection between the written and spoken word. Reading aloud to children develops their listening skills and builds vocabulary. And, last but not least, listening to books read aloud helps children develop a taste for excellent literature.
Unfortunately, by the time children outgrow picture books, many parents stop reading aloud with them, but there is no reason to stop reading aloud. Children of all ages enjoy being read to, and they shouldn’t be punished for learning to read by losing that special
We also need to remember that there are whole new frontiers to explore in books even as the children grow older, and children can listen to more advanced books than they can read. I recall several times reading aloud to my eight- to twelve-year-olds, when I didn’t think any one else was listening, only to hear later from my much older teenagers remarks about the stories that they had heard when they were eavesdropping on our story time.
Remember, it’s never too late to read aloud.