Encourage your child to read out loud

Reading confidently out loud is a skill for anyone and developing this in children from an early age hugely benefits them later in life.

Reading to your children from a young age is thought to be an important activity leading to language development; it also builds memory, motivation and curiosity.

Hearing stories read aloud helps children connect the written word with speech, makes the experience of reading and storytelling enjoyable and is proved to help develop concentration skills. Developing an enjoyment of stories and literature also exposes children to different experiences they may not otherwise have.

In hearing books read expressively, they will learn to imitate this and see a connection between the written word and creating a performance in the story being told. It also brings the story to life, helping them understand the narrative.

Once a child grasps how to interpret the text in order to perform the reading expressively they will make conscious decisions about what to emphasise to effectively communicate the wider meaning. Once they have made the decision about what emotions and attitudes are being depicted they have to choose the appropriate tone of voice to convey this.

Reading aloud is not just for confident readers either, it has been proven to significantly help struggling readers too. By rehearsing to read aloud and reading aloud regularly, the repeated practice begins to improve their accuracy and word recognition.

At Kumon, we ask our students to read out loud every day, but why not extend this? Ask your child to read the back of the cereal box as you are making breakfast in the morning. Give them the shopping list and ask them to read it to you as you go round the supermarket. Have them read a film review from the TV guide. Short snippets of reading out loud on a regular basis can make a huge difference and in this way the child is practicing without realising.

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