We know reading aloud to our young children lays the foundation for reading success but did you know there are many benefits to continued reading even after they’ve become independent readers? Here is a list of reasons why!


Reading Level and Comprehension Level are different

A child’s reading level doesn’t catch up to their “listening” level until around the 8th grade. Your child will likely enjoy a more complicated plot than they are able to read by themselves. This can keep them excited and motivated about reading.


It’s Better than a Lecture

An older child will be more open to hearing and understanding difficult issues through literature rather than a lecture. An example being- you can warn your child until you’re blue in the face about the repercussions of bad choices or choosing to hang out with friends who may be a bad influence. These words will likely fall on deaf ears, however if a child is to read a story about a character who gets mixed up with the wrong crowd and faces negative consequences, it’s as if they see this experience this first hand. It’s a great way to create an open discussion without defenses.


Kids Will be Advertised to in Some Way

If you turn on the TV, walk into a department store, or even look at a billboard, you’ll see that our children are constantly being advertised to. By continuing to read aloud with your child it’s a way of advertising books and keeping them appealing. By finding books and genres that interest your child, their love and appreciation for books will continue to grow. Children are often not enthralled by the assigned reading material in school and if this is there only exposure, they will likely associate reading with work or displeasure. Providing a healthy balance of educational literature and enjoyable literature will help their love of reading flourish.


It Naturally Decreases Screen time

In the age of technology, it’s easy to become so distracted by binging our favorite show, scrolling social media, shopping online, or playing video games that days, weeks, months, and even years pass, and we haven’t engaged with a book for pleasure. By making read alouds a routine and modeling reading for our children it sets a precedent and preserve’s the enjoyment of getting lost in a good book.


Continues to Expand Vocabulary

This is a no-brainer, kids that are continually exposed to more literature will naturally inherit more words. Studies have shown children with a more robust vocabulary will likely perform better academically.


Continues to Promote Bonding

As our children get older, they begin to develop their own interests, friends, and hobbies. By continuing a read aloud routine you’re fostering a space where you can still connect and bond with your maturing child. Having these warm memories and experiences with a loved one lays the foundation for a lifelong love of reading.


You’re Modeling and Providing Positive Reinforcement

Kids learn by watching our actions more than hearing our words. By making a commitment to read together and providing that space you are sending a message that reading is important and enjoyable, and you value that time with your child. It also allows you to help your child analyze the things you’ve read and encourage abstract and deeper thinking.


Exposure to a Variety of Authors, Texts, & Genres

Reading with you children not only exposes them to a variety of different literature but yourself as well. You will get the opportunity to explore likes and dislikes together. This exploration will give your child AND you the chance to discover texts you normally wouldn’t alone. Learning to give literature a chance that may not be initially appealing to your child well help them become more well-rounded. You may also discover something new about yourself by being open to your child’s literary choices.


Strengthens Empathy and Understanding

Literature is one of the best ways for children to comprehend something without having to experience it first-hand. Books provide clarity and insight into a variety of subjects, ideals, and concepts helping them to understand life, humanity, and the world we live in on many different levels.


Increases the Likelihood of Long-Term Reading Success

Many studies have shown that the largest indicator of long-term reading success is daily reading, especially reading aloud. This is true for older children as well. Children who are read to regularly have more advanced vocabularies, are well written, and overall do well academically. They are also more likely to continue reading on their own long term.


It may be tempting to forego this routine once your child is able to read independently, after all life does get busy and often times it’s easy to forget. By making a conscious effort and remembering these significant benefits your child and you will positively impact their reading success and strengthen your relationship.