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People regularly ask what stories they should be sharing for their child of a certain age or they worry that they don’t have many different ones at home to share.
If you have some books already at home then look at picking one and focusing on it for the week.
It is very important to share stories over and over again and using one as a focus will help your child to learn the key skill of how to become a storyteller where they can retell the story over and over again (see retelling stories).
Reading a book over and over – repetitive reading develops children’s vocabulary. It helps them develop their understanding of the story and all the different parts so they can delve deeper into it. Reading aloud models to children how the words sound and connect to each other.
By teaching a child to read we are opening them to this world, by sharing stories we are helping them to explore it.
‘We have an obligation to read aloud to our children. To read them things they enjoy. To read them stories we are already tired of. To do the voices, to make it interesting, and not stop reading to them just because they learn to read to themselves. Use reading-aloud time as bonding time…when the distractions of the world are put aside.’ – Neil Gaiman
Newspaper article: Why our Future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming
Challenge: Can you recreate the book cover? Here are some examples:
You are never too old to be read to. Research shows that when children become more fluent independent readers that many children are then not read to and are expected to read to themselves.
Video: Mr Big by Ed Vere
“54% of children up to the age of five are read to at home five to seven days at week, with this declining to 34% of six to eight-year-olds, and 17% of nine to 11-year-olds. But 40% of six to 11-year-olds who are not read to told researchers they wish their parents had continued reading aloud to them.” – Kids Family Reading Report – Scholastic.
When we read aloud we can model what it is like to be a storyteller. How to pause at certain points, how to emphasise key words and how your voice changes when you read questions or exclamations. We can also model what to do when we are stuck with a word (sound it out) and share the toolkit we have as a reader.
“Reading aloud with children is known to be the single most important activity for building the knowledge and skills they will eventually require for learning to read.” – Marilyn Jager Adams
Answer – anywhere!
Links to some of the read alouds currently available: