Why Read Aloud? (part three)


Granddaughter Cecilia ran through the children’s section in Barnes and Noble and headed straight for the stuffed animals.

“Cecilia, honey, put that down, we are here to look at the books,” her daddy said as she picked up a stuffed animal.

She did and went straight for the shiny, big books with sparkles and Elmo on them. She went for the eye-candy and familiar characters. When it came time to leave the book store and the Grandparents (Jerry and I) were ready to make a purchase for her, we chose a book that her mama had loved, not one that she had picked.

One mistake parents make (guilty) is not introducing children to new read alouds. We let children direct the selection and what gets read aloud to them or purchased at the book store. This can backfire. The books, if not well written and illustrated are stale and boring. We parents can quickly assume that the child just doesn’t like books. That is usually not the case. The child just hasn’t been introduced to the proper diet of books.

The day after Jerry and I purchased Miss Suzy for Cecilia, Amerey texted me , “Cecilia loves the book, we read it three times last night and five times this morning already!”

We don’t let children make all the choices when it comes to their nutrition, why should we let them make all the choices when it comes to their literary diet? It’s okay to choose for them. They may not ALWAYS like the selection, but they will be introduced to some variety. In general, kids just don’t know what is available, so they go to the same thing over and over again, peanut butter and jelly or Elmo and Sesame Street.

If your child isn’t used to listening to anything being read aloud, be prepared for him not to last very long listening. Don’t take this as a sign that you should give up altogether. When you introduce a toddler to a new food, you don’t give up the first try, do you? It’s normal for a toddler to reject new foods and ask for the same foods every day, yet parents know to keep trying a variety. The same is true with literature. If you can get a child to sit still for a few pages of a book, do it, the next day add another page or try another genre of literature. Don’t give up!

There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book. —Frank Serafini

Check out The Whole House tomorrow when I am gifting a set of couple’s tickets to the Empowered to Connect Simulcast held on April 8,9!

Book suggestion for today:

Linking up with Kristin Hill Taylor. Join us!


11 thoughts on “Why Read Aloud? (part three)

  1. Oh, hooray! So glad that you are advocating for reading out loud to kids. I still read to my 14 year old — right now we have a missionary biography going. My husband and I are reading thru the Bible out loud together, and it has changed my appreciation for the Pentateuch!
    Blessings to you!

    1. Michele, I am reading aloud with my seventeen year old, What if Jesus had Never been Born and his history!

      1. My husband and I read a Jan Karon novel and the Bible aloud to one another and we are 68! As Michele says, “Never too old!”

      2. I agree, we are never too old to be read aloud to. We love audio books in the car!

  2. This is GREAT! As a retired elementary school teacher and then children’s librarian, and now a private tutor to the primary-aged child, I approach teaching reading as the key to so much more. You are teaching a child to read by what they hear being read. You are teaching a child to read by hearing the way you read to them. Reading allowed gives them a relationship with the reader too. They learn in so many ways and we want them to learn the ‘good stuff.’

    By allowing a child to choose everything–which book or not-book (that stuffed animal or puppet) they “want” rather than by a level of reading (board book versus a great picture book at the next level) and then when they lose interest, we have lost them to a vital piece of what they will need later on. Or picking out a book that is too hard and then the child is discouraged (if they are a reader). And, oh, so much more.

    Besides my spiritual blog that will link up automatically, I have a book review blog which is mainly filled with children’s picture books (+ a few adult fiction and nonfiction). Thought you might be interested: https://thereaderandthebookreviews.wordpress.com/
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

    1. Thanks for the wisdom! And thank you for the book review site. I’ll be sure to share it next Wednesday in my Why Read Aloud post!

      1. Thanks! WOW! That is a sweet and generous thing to do.

        During lunch, I thought of how important our own silent reading can be to children. When they see us reading silently over in our chair, or even next to us with their book on the couch, we are setting another example for their learning. They see parents and grandparents reading which is so important.

      2. Exactly! I agree and they watch us when we turn off media and pick up a book!

  3. Love this encouragement to pick up books TOGETHER. And I love that you faithfully link up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s