Storytime is central to the bedtime routine in our house. Well, so is chaos, but eventually we get around to PJs and toothbrushes and, finally, books. We’ve been reading nightly to our kids since they caught a regular bedtime.
Often when kids learn to read to themselves, parents shift away from reading together. It’s understandable — we want to encourage independent reading. Our 5-year-old doesn’t start kindergarten for two more weeks and she already reads very well. Scary well. But she still loves to have us read to her. And we love to oblige.
Shared storytime doesn’t have to end in grade school. When you read to older kids, a brand-new world of benefits opens up, according to experts like longtime teacher and teaching instructor Mary Rose of Orange County, Fla. Here are some of them, according to an article by Rose in Scholastic’s Instructor magazine:
- Reading books a little above your child’s grade level will challenge and develop vocabulary.
- When you’re there to answer questions, kids can grasp words and concepts that they would miss alone.
- You can reinforce comprehension by asking questions about what you’ve just read.
- Try prodding your child’s imagination by asking if he can predict what’s going to happen in the story.
Ready to share a story? Here’s a guide to 10 Books to Read Together that I wrote for the June 2011 issue of Tallahassee Moms Like Me magazine. There are titles for preschool and kindergarten through 5th grade. Check it out; you might find a new favorite!