Why parents should continue to read to their children

Oct 2013
By listening to how you tell the story and the intonations in your voice, a child's imagination will be stimulated.

It is quite a wonderful moment for every parent, when your child is able to read their bedtime story to you, rather than the other way around; this means they have developed the interest, skills and confidence to read the book for themselves. However, this does not mean your role as story-teller has to come to an end, and there are, in fact, many benefits that come from continuing to read to your child throughout their childhood.

Reading to your child is not only a lovely way to spend special time bonding with them over the adventures contained within the pages, but can also help to develop their understanding of sounds and the rhythms of language. By exposing them to more complex text, above their own current reading ability, they will become familiar with more advanced language and a wider range of themes and genres.

By listening to how you tell the story and the intonations in your voice, a child's imagination will be stimulated, supporting their creativity and enthusiasm for stories.

If you are reading longer or more advanced stories than your child has previously been exposed to, try reading a chapter at a time and then discuss what they have learned and what they think might happen next. This will help you to gauge their understanding of the story and will help to develop their comprehension skills.

When reading to your child, it is important to go at a pace which allows them to follow the story and digest the information. Younger children will likely enjoy books with pictures that support the story, which you can discuss together. Books that include repetition, rhythm or rhyme may also go down well, and don't be surprised if they want to reread their favourite story over and over again! Encouraging your children to enjoy a wide range of books from different genres is fantastic for developing their reading ability, but it is also important to nurture a love of reading, and if this involves re-exploring that well-loved tail again, then that is no bad thing.

The Kumon Recommended Reading List contains a Read Together section, filled with books that are suited to children who are not yet able to read independently. The list then contains books from a range of genres, increasing in difficulty, to help children find books that spark their interest and encourage them to read regularly for pleasure. Why not explore the list and find one which you would like to read with your child?