When was the last time you had your child read aloud to you? With our schedules being so busy these days its hard to find time to just sit and listen to your child read, especially if your child is already reading independently.
Having your child read aloud to you is extremely important since it allows you to be in touch with how their reading is progressing. Many children can read well enough to get by, but when made to read aloud might stumble on their words or possibly read each word as a single entity instead of a flowing sentence. Also, many children read with a robotic tone. Learning to use inflection in your voice when you read is an important skill that will only improve with practice.
A child usually wont have many chances to read aloud in school so it is up to you to make time for it. It’s not as difficult as you might think however. The trick is to listen to your child read while you are doing something else.
Do you travel around a lot? Listen to your child read as you go down the road. Are you often on the computer? That would also be a great time to have your child read to you. Think about it like this, any time you feel comfortable having the radio or television going on in the background would be the perfect opportunity to have your child read to you for a while instead.
Do you prepare dinner? Try having your child read to you as you cook. This has worked very well for my daughter and me. Many nights as I start to prepare dinner my daughter will sit at the kitchen table and read to me as I work. I really enjoy this special time we spend together.
Remember, for the most part you only need to listen to your child read to gain confidence in his/her reading ability. This also allows you to be aware of how your child’s reading ability is progressing. It isn’t necessary for you to be reading over his/her shoulder. Just listen and only help if help is needed. If your child gets stuck on a word have him/her sound out the word & if that doesn’t work have your child spell the word so you can help decipher it.
After your child has finished reading to you it is a great time to give out hugs and kisses and praise your child. This also gives you the perfect opportunity to give him/her feedback on what can be done to improve. Use the Kisses and Wishes method to critique your child’s reading. If you notice that your child needs to use more expression when reading aloud then read passages from the book your child just read and show him/her what a huge difference it makes to alter your voice from high to low or convey sadness or excitement in your voice as you read. What ever your advice is to your child for improvement, be sure to give examples so your child is clear on how to improve.
With practice your child will become an expert at reading aloud and that is an important skill your child will utilize for the rest of his/her life.