If you’re not part of the reading with your child club, please give me a chance to persuade you!
There’s nothing quite like curling up on the couch to read with your child. Unless it’s when you reach a point where you take turns reading aloud while doing something else (driving, cooking…).
Growing up, reading with my mom was my favorite part of the day. There’s the adventure, the closeness, something to talk about because of the shared experience…
I’m a hug person, and my mom isn’t. But reading together was her way of hugging me. Up until I married, we still read together. Now, we share books and talk about them, even if we aren’t living in the same house anymore.
If you want to know more of the benefits of reading in general, as an adult, click here.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links for your convenience. If you make a purchase through one of the links, I may make a small commission. I only recommend books and resources that I’ve enjoyed personally, or believe that you would like. You can read my full disclosure here. You will also find information on Scripture translations there.
BENEFITS OF READING WITH YOUR KIDS:
There are deep, long-lasting benefits of parents who read books with their kids. This shared experience opens up so many opportunities!
READING IS FUN:
Reading is the perfect way to have a fun adventure, travel the world, or hop through time. You don’t need to move from the sofa, however, if you come across books that are captivating, simply reading stories together can provide kids with a secure environment to grow their curiosity in many subjects.
For one thing, reading provides a bonding that is amazing.
Time– If you’re reading with your child, you are spending time together. You’re not distracted by Facebook or the game, or the to-do list… And we all know how much children love having parents’ undivided attention!
Touch– You usually have them sitting next to you (or in your lap).
Service– You’re meeting a need. They can’t read yet, or not well maybe. Or with older kids, leading the adventure is an act of service.
Gifts– The book could be a gift. If you’re willing to spend money on books to read together, you’re reinforcing the importance of reading, and how valuable it is
Words of Affirmation– If you interact, you could ask questions about what did or might happen, and praise their ideas and efforts. Children need words of affirmation because you are writing their inner voice in their early years. The inner critic that they’ll hear for decades to come.
Ok, so you just covered the 5 Love Languages in one story! That’s one incredible reason why reading with your child is something to love!
Nearly every book teaches something, whether it’s a fact, moral or idea. Some of them are positive, and some are “why is this a bad idea?” Kids are sponges, so exploring many topics through regular reading is an awesome parenting tool.
One of the benefits of reading to children is this. You can help shape their learning. By discussing what you are reading with your child, you can help them understand new concepts, facts, and ideas. Ask your child questions as you read.
Reading aloud with children makes teachable moments easier! You’re learning from someone else’s mistakes and successes, instead of having to figure it out on your own. Children’s Bible Storybooks and other Christian books for kids are helpful here!
You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.”Deuteronomy 11:19 NASB
Kids are always learning, and you want to help them process and understand, ideally sharing your worldview.
This week, I stopped mid-story to ask which brother he thought had the right suggestion and he pointed to the one who was remembering mom’s warning. Then I asked which one sounded more like him. He picked the one who wanted to set a trap to catch the bandit themselves. We had a good laugh and a chat about how to handle this kind of thing. He was building his listening skills and didn’t even know it!
Reading the Bible with your kids is a great way to immerse them in God’s word from an early age!
LITERACY SKILLS – GRAMMAR / VOCABULARY / PRONUNCIATION:
This is huge. By choosing good books and reading aloud together, you give them the keys to proper grammar and pronunciation from the beginning. Gifting them reading skills they’ll use the rest of their lives, just by making reading time a priority.
The natural way vocabulary and reading fit together is the sweet spot. Correct sentences will flow more naturally. They will pronounce words more accurately. And you’ll help your child learn new words, complete with context and meaning, ahead of “schedule!”
Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.’Proverbs 22:6 NASB
When they become teens, already having a habit of reading and discussing stories can keep them coming to you. Which is exactly what you want during the uncertain and confusing situations that happen as they mature and become independent.
Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”Proverbs 22:6 NASB
I firmly believe that reading with your children from an early age has lifelong benefits. I’m living proof! Mom often read the Bible with us, among other great books. When I took my annual test at the end of 5th grade, I scored an 11th-grade reading level. And reading (especially scripture) is still influencing many of my decisions!
For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.”2 Timothy 1:5 NASB
If you permit yourself to share the joy of reading with your child, you will likely motivate them to develop a love for reading on their own, for all these reasons.
WHEN SHOULD YOU START READING WITH YOUR CHILD?
I mean, should you read to your newborn?? Well, It can’t hurt, and it might help. For instance, with my first, he loved to hear my voice, and we were home alone a lot, so there wasn’t a lot of reason to talk. I decided to read whatever book I was reading for me, out loud. He would stop fussing, and just relax. It was great!
5 TIPS FOR READING WITH YOUR CHILD
There are so many options, but here are a few simple tips for reading with your child at home (and on the go!):
Follow My Finger:
One of the best tips I have is to point to the words as you read. Just follow along, even if your timing isn’t exact. This way, they connect the words you say with the text on the page. It will also make it easier as they start reading themselves!
Have a Bible storybook or devotional that you read 1 chapter a day. Whether you read in the morning or evening, or middle of the day, this can be an awesome experience. Read with your child, and discuss!
Read the Pictures:
Take turns “reading the pictures” of new books from the Library, before you read the words. This can be so much fun, and may inspire them to write one day! Compare your made-up story with the one written, and vote for your favorite!
Encourage Their Reading Skills
As they learn to read, have them read part of whatever you are reading, whether it’s 2 words per page or they read one page and you read the next…
As they grow in independent reading, don’t stop reading. Even older children want the connection with you that storytime provides. Many parents move on because board books and picture books are no longer the favorite pick, but if you keep on going, in one form or another, you’ll encourage your child to make reading a part of their lives forever.
Another One of my favorite tips for reading with your child at home, when life gets busy, turn to Audiobooks: you can use these wonderful files for reading with your child any time. Like while eating or coloring, or building Legos or cleaning the bathroom, or even while driving.
EFFECTS OF NOT READING TO YOUR CHILD
This is hard to measure, and I’d rather not mention it, but the effects of not reading to your child are real. Each of the scenarios below are acceptable, in moderation. The effects are both products of my experience and imagination.
There are lots of fun and educational activities that you can enjoy with your child. But if you miss the joys of reading together, you are both missing something very special.
If you watch TV and movies excessively, instead of reading, you limit the capacity of the imagination. When everything is displayed in living color, what need is there of imagination?
If you lead an energetic life but one of your kids is unable to join in due to health complications or lack of athletic ability, but don’t carve out time for the two of you to share a good book, it can impede communication between you. This could lead to anything from feelings of isolation to acting out.
In contrast, if you make it a point to read with your child, and invest quality time with them, the imaginative play they come up with is remarkable! *That doesn’t mean they won’t get into mischief, but who knows, they could possibly invent something extraordinary!
So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.’Psalm 90:12 NASB
DID YOU KNOW READING TO CHILDREN CAN INSPIRE A LOVE OF READING?
It’s true. Even if they act like it’s horrible.
READING ALOUD TO CHILDREN
Well, when you love Reading aloud to children, you will probably inspire a lifelong love of learning.
Some of my favorite memories from childhood are of our beach days. We would go to the local beach and play for an hour, then all gather on the blanket for a snack and a book. My mom would read aloud, whether it was a textbook or a novel set in the time period we were studying.
After 20 minutes, we could go play again. We repeated that cycle for a few hours almost every Wednesday. (Homeschooling perk!)
My mom still loves reading aloud to children. And so do the kids! “Grandma read me a story?!? Please?” I mean, who could resist?
Moms, Dads, involve your child in the chores and don’t stress over perfection. Leave time for books! It’s a privilege that needs to be cultivated. Enjoy reading with your child now, or you can miss an incredible experience!
So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.”Psalm 90:12 NASB
I HAVE 2 QUESTIONS FOR YOU:
Which of the benefits of parents reading to their child makes you want to try it?
Do you have any other tips for reading to young children that you would like to share with us?