Hey Chaser friends! Did you know there is a read aloud book revival going on out here in families large and small? No? Well, there is, and it is so encouraging to me as a #booknerd, #bookmama and #booklover. More and more families are gathering around their tables, on the couch, and snuggled in bed reading aloud to each other!
If you’re thinking you can pass this by because your kiddos are no longer babes, hold up! This revival isn’t just for little ones at bedtime. I’m talking about your wily nine-year-old, like my Lloyd, and your reluctant teenagers who typically want nothing to do with you.
Believe it or not, this revival is being spurred on by the creator of the Read-Aloud Revival Podcast, Sarah Mackenzie. Sarah is a mother of six kids – I did not stutter. Six kids. She wanted desperately to connect to her kids, and I understand that struggle. So, Sarah created the Read-Aloud Revival community. The hope was that it would help parents connect meaningfully with their kids while they were still home. She has since written a book, The Read Aloud Family, which is full of tips, tricks, and even age-specific booklists for all your read aloud needs.
So, what are the benefits of reading-aloud with your family you ask? Well, let me give you six great reasons to be part of this Read-Aloud Revival and get some good, old-fashioned family fun.
Benefit #1: Read aloud time means device-free time
As a Mama to a game playin’, technology-loving 9-year-old boy, it’s a blessing when we get to put down all the devices. Yes, all of them! No laptop, no Switch, no Xbox, PlayStation, or tablets. Just a good old-fashioned book that we take turns reading aloud to each other.
Benefit #2: Reading aloud creates a unique memory with your kids
Let’s be honest: most of us probably didn’t expect to read to our kids once they could read by themselves. However, getting to continue reading to your babe – and having them read back to you – is such a unique experience. You’re creating fun memories with your children (and even fur babies can take part)!
Benefit #3: Reading aloud increases emotional intelligence
By listening to each other read and by reading aloud yourself you increase a plethora of skills: listening skills! Communication skills! Concentration levels! Compassion and your empathy powers bloom! This is just what we need more of in this world- concentration, communication, listening, compassion and empathy skills! Powerful results just by reading aloud and listening to a story.
Benefit #4: Reading aloud increases academic success
You thought it was only emotional intelligence that increased? Reading has a plethora of benefits, and reading aloud compounds those. It will prevent skimming, which insures that your child has to concentrate on comprehension. Thought and reason will return, and lo, how I’ve missed you…Furthermore, it increases vocabulary skills, pronunciation skills, and public speaking skills.
Benefit #5: Reading aloud improves patience
This skill gets its own section because it is such a big one. There is no instant gratification in reading aloud. You can’t skip to the end or read faster. This will give your kids (and you) inner strength and fortitude. Trust me, no matter who is reading aloud, it can sometimes be a slow process and the listener will sometimes want to rip the book out of their hand and do it themselves. This can be especially true if your child just wants to re-read the same book over and over again. This goes for you or a kiddo. Iron-strong patience is necessary. It isn’t about how fast he or she reads, it’s all about how you are connecting with each other and the story.
Benefit #6: Reading aloud creates genuine connection
How often do you get an actual conversation out of your kids? I try to, but my son usually says about two words to me. However, now that we read aloud books to each other, we have actual things to discuss and topics to engage in, he’s a river of information, insight, and jokes galore. Reading aloud guarantees laughter, conversation, and yes, even genuine connection.
So, the next time you ask your kid about their day and mum’s the word, think about this article and jump into the Read-Aloud Revival. I promise you and the kids will love it!
HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., operates Page Chaser, the publisher of The Read Aloud Family.