Story time is fun, but is it important? Are there measurable benefits to reading aloud to your kids? Reading is a great way to get your child to sleep, does reading aloud do more than just that? The answer to these questions is a resounding: YES.
There is a large and natural gap in every child's oral language competence and reading comprehension. This is just normal. A child is picking up worlds and organizing vocabulary very early in life, by the time they are twelve months old they have a working oral language. It will be years later before they have reading skills and those skill are always bound to their oral comprehension. No matter what books you introduce them to, their understanding of the materials are bound by their own oral or listening comprehension. To make sense for the child, the book must connect to books they already can relate to, life experiences, or universal concepts. And just as kids listen in life before reading, their listening skills are sharper. They simply listen to words and concepts at a higher level than they can read and understand concepts.
When does the gap close? It depends on the child, typically it takes well into the third grade before a child understands concepts equally well between printed or spoken instruction. However, a number of studies suggest that average children don't reach the point of being able to read what they could understand if they heard it until even the eighth grade. A great way to close the gap early is to read aloud with your kids. It makes complex ideas more understandable, introduces them to speech and vocabulary that is not being shared around the dinner table. It allows then to make the connections of the story into their own life experiences. Your child might not understand the concepts of Cinderella's royal ball and glass slipper during their first hearing it, but they might relate to sisters that can be mean to each other. It all builds from there. Reading aloud unlocks their imagination and allows their higher skill, listening, to unlock the whole books adventure. Reading skills are of course critical, reading aloud in addition to reading helps develop them so much faster.
SmartKidzClub.com has more than 500 eBooks and math books -- they all have interactive read aloud technology. Your kids can have read aloud time with the entire library to help close the gap when you can not make the time together. It is also a fun way for them to have new adventures in subjects that might be otherwise too advanced for them. Start your 14 day free trial today and get unlimited access to all the wonderful and exclusive collection of resources on SmartKidzClub.com. We are Educational App Store certified with a Five-Star rating.