Family reading time is important!
You’ve probably heard that listening to classical music and visiting art museums are good for stimulating young minds and introducing kids to culture, but did you know that reading aloud to your kids is equally important? Whether your children are too young to read on their own—or old enough to read by themselves—reading with them can be a valuable experience for the entire family. Here are four reasons to get your kids hooked on family reading time.
Build Comprehension, Spark Conversations
Reading aloud with a parent, guardian, or older sibling is a great way to promote reading comprehension. When children read with someone older, they have the chance to ask questions about elements of the book that they didn’t understand or voice their thoughts about the plot or characters. After reading a section or chapter together, parents can even ask their child questions about what they read, about their favorite character or a new word they learned. Books like The Happy Hollisters series, which often feature characters traveling to exciting new places where they learn about new customs, traditions, or languages, can be particularly fun to read aloud and have the potential to spark great conversations.
Learn Words They’ll Remember
When kids read well-written books, they will encounter new words. If they are reading a book out loud to a parent or other adult, they’ll get the opportunity to sound out the word for themselves and figure out what a new word means through context. Even for younger kids, hearing a word said aloud makes them more likely to remember it. This helps them build an impressive vocabulary from a young age. Looking up the correct pronunciation of a new or unusual word can be enlightening for children and parents alike. When reading with your children, look for books that include challenging vocabulary . . . you might even learn something new yourself!
A Starting Point for Tough Topics
Kids often encounter difficult situations as they go through life, like facing a bully at school or moving to a new town where they don’t have any friends. By reading stories where characters face—and overcome—hardships like these, children can learn from their favorite fictional characters. By reading aloud with your child, you can use the book as a starting point for tough conversations. Even with complex issues like racism or sexism, books can help parents find accessible ways to communicate and use fictional characters to help their children understand and cope with important life lessons.
Bonding Time for the Whole Family
Above all, reading aloud with your child is a greatway to bond! Setting aside a few minutes before bedtime or dinner to read together is a wonderful way to create a family tradition that your kids will appreciate for years to come. Reading aloud is a quiet, enjoyable activity for everyone in your family and can create precious memories. Family reading time can also foster a lifelong love of books, especially if you get your kids hooked on an exciting series like The Happy Hollisters!
No matter how old your children are or what genres your family likes to read, a good book is always a little more special when it’s read with your loved ones. Revisit one of your childhood classics or pick out an exciting new release and start a reading-time tradition with your family!
If you read The Happy Hollister series with your family, we’d love to hear about the discussions it sparks or how you use the books to build your child’s vocabulary and reading comprehension!
By Libby Svenson Kennedy
Research notes, Andrew Svenson Archives of The Hollister Family Properties Trust