A Dad was in the library this morning looking for books to read with his son. The big word here is WITH. He regularly sits and reads stories with his son. I think that is wonderful, and I know many more Moms and Dads are doing this. A child loves to be told stories. And when a parent regularly takes the time to read aloud to their child or children, those children will remember that forever.
As they listen to the story being read, their imaginations are free to enter into the story and become part of it. They will benefit by hearing an adult read words that might be unfamiliar to them and they will add to their vocabulary.
When you read to your children, let go of your inhibitions, and put emphasis and emotion into the words and sentences. Allow yourself to also be carried away by the story and connect with it. Perhaps you can create voices for characters, or find a mysterious tone of voice for special bits. Your children will love it, and they are probably the least critical audience you could ever want. You may find a benefit for yourself also – the more you read aloud, the better you will get, and you might find you can add to your vocabulary as well. You can discuss words no one understands, then look them up to discover the meaning and everyone learns together. You will be a literacy teacher in your home.
We have lots of books that can be read aloud. If you don’t know where to start, talk about it with your kids and find out what kind of stories they like – mysteries, adventures, fantasy worlds, or real stories about real people.
Always feel free to ask us for help. We will try very hard to help you find books that your family will enjoy. There are many classic stories, that children might find difficult to read on their own. Sometimes everyone can take turns reading aloud – that would also be a great literacy builder.
Here are a few suggestions – classics and contemporary:
- Little Women / Little Men – Louisa May Alcott
- The Narnia series by C.S. Lewis
- The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
- Dear Canada series by a variety of authors – these are stories based on a particular point in Canada’s history, so not only do you have a great story, but you learn about our history as well
- The Boxcar Children – Gertrude Chandler Warren
- The Five Lost Aunts of Harriet Bean – Alexander McCall Smith
If you have some family favorites, please share them - we would love to hear from you!