Between the ages of four and seven, many children begin to recognize words on a page. Reading aloud can help demystify the reading process. By reading stories that are on their interest level, but beyond their reading level, you can stretch your young readers’ understanding, and motivate them to improve their skills.
No method better prepares children for that moment when “reading” clicks. Reading to children effectively builds and reinforces vocabulary as well. The relationship between the printed word, the spoken word, and the meaning of words moves from the abstract to the concrete. Reading aloud contextualizes words that are often taught in isolated instances.
Even if a book is beyond your child’s reading level, it’s not beyond their listening level, and they are bound to be introduced to a plethora of new words. Hearing the words, following the storyline, and creating a whole picture allows the child to “place” the words, and become accustomed to using complete sentences.
Children who are read to grow to love books. They remember the stories that made them laugh or cry. They remember sharing stories with people they love, ad they anticipate with joy the time when they will be able to read for themselves.