As my son gets older I find myself thinking about the routines and traditions will stand the test of time. I like the idea of creating traditions and family habits that we will always enjoy. I know my son won’t always want to go see Santa or trick or treat for candy but traveling to get our own tree and watching silly movies have the potential to become long-term traditions.
And it’s not just the holidays I think about, but everyday activities too. I imagine my son coming home from college for a visit and us playing board games or going for a favorite hike.
Surprisingly, reading-aloud is one activity kids don’t need to age out of even though we treat it that way.
Once children start to read on their own, reading together drops off. According to a survey conducted by Scholastic and YouGov in 2016, reading aloud together drops significantly after the age of 6.
Yet, children aged 6-11 and their parents overwhelmingly say that reading aloud together is a special bonding time with each other and is fun. Children also said that they got to listen to books that they may not have read on their own and parents say that reading aloud with their children helps create a love of reading.
Parents who continue to read aloud (i.e. chapters books etc.), perhaps even taking turns reading, have children who read more on their own and share a love for reading.
I think that reading together in one of those things that can stand the test of time. It’s a bit of a lost art, but with a little nurturing it can become something your family treasures.
Top 7 Reasons to Read Aloud With Your Older Child
It will stand the test of time. This is an activity that can continue for years. And even when your kids move out and on, you will have a shared love of reading. Perhaps, you won’t read together in the future, but you can read the same books and discuss them for years to come.
It’s Fun. Both kids and parents report reading together is fun. It’s a great way to pass the time and it can also be a great way to change the mood of the house as well!
It creates a love of reading. By sharing your joy and love for reading you pass that on to your child. That doesn’t stop with picture books. Try picking up an old favorite chapter book from your childhood and laugh out loud together.
It builds cognitive skills. Reading with a mature reader will build children’s skills — vocabulary and how to pronounce words, listening skills, comprehension skills etc. Reading aloud with older kids has been shown to positively affect test scores as well.
It’s a great way to bond. Reading together is a special time and a way to connect with your older child. Have them choose a book that they are interested in and enter their world for a little while. Reading provides a way to connect on their level, gives you things you can discuss (umm, hello distant pre-teen, and can help to build understanding.
It will broaden their horizons. Reading together allows you chose classics or non-fiction books your child wouldn’t choose on their own. This can broaden their horizons quite literally. How about choosing a book about local history or in a setting of a place you are planning to visit on vacation? In this way, books can come alive and become a part of your families’ narrative.
It helps with discussing difficult issues. Skip the lecture. Instead, read a gripping story. Or a heartfelt one. Books can show how characters struggle with big issues and how they deal with consequences. It can be something related to things happening in their own life or in the broader world. Or perhaps just a really good book that can open both your and your child’s hearts, like Wonder.
Here are a mix of classics, fun, and challenging books I am looking forward to reading with my son when he is older.
Read Aloud Books for Big Kids