Reading aloud to children is the most effective and enjoyable way to prepare your children for learning to read. Reading aloud develops the language skills children use throughout their lives, creates a special bonding time with fine literature and exquisite artwork, and nurtures a love for both the written and spoken word. It also gives you a chance to revisit favorite stories from your youth and find new ones that you may not have yet discovered. Remember that children need to hear hundreds of hours of stories before they learn to read on their own. And once they learn to read, it is important to keep reading books to them that are on their listening level- one that is higher than their own reading level.
By reading aloud every day, you are helping children develop an appreciation for reading that will last a lifetime and will help them become lifelong readers. Children who grow up hearing fine stories, rhymes, and nonfiction books will grow up viewing books as great sources of comfort, joy, and information. Children will also intuitively learn that reading is a meaning driven process.
One of my favorite books to use as an inspiration and a resource for book titles is The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease.
There are hundreds of web sites dedicated to giving parents information about reading. I have researched many and chosen helpful sites with very few advertisements or sales pitches. I will be spotlighting them in months to come. Try a few to see which appeal to you and your children. The ones listed below will give you guidance in making quality book choices for your read alouds.
This is a list of one hundred books selected by the National Education Association as great reading for children and young people.
These are booklists from the Monroe County Library. There are some fine booklists such as: If You Liked Harry Potter; Frontier Stories; Adventure stories; Pirate stories.
Here are some fine booklists divided by grade and topic. Examples are: First Day of School; Beginning to Read; and for each grade Classics Too Good to Miss.
Scroll down, click on More Links, then on Lots of Lists: Recommended Books. There are some unique lists here such as: 18 Highly Recommended Books for Girls; Kid’s Book Authors Pick Their All Time Favorites.
In this booklist, children themselves evaluate the books and provide reviews of their favorites.
This site is from the National Education Association’s Read Across America. Scroll down to Other Resources: Booklists: Some list titles are: Teachers’ Top 100 picks; Children’s Choices; English/ Spanish books; 50 Multicultural Books Every Child Should Know; Asian/ American booklists; Authors’ Favorite Booklists.
This article has great tips about how to motivate children to read.
This one has excellent articles about reading aloud.