The hidden benefits of reading aloud — even for older kids

(Great Kids) An interview with Jim Trelease, the author of the respected, Read-Aloud Handbook.

It’s long established in science and research that children who come to school with a large vocabulary do better than children who comes to school with little familiarity with words and a low vocabulary. Children who are surrounded by spoken sophisticated words, mostly read aloud from books, are the ones with the largest vocabularies.

Also a child’s reading level doesn’t catch up to his listening level until eighth grade. Fifth-grade students can and should be listening to seventh-grade books. They’ll get excited about the plot and and keep them motivated to keep reading. A fifth-grader can enjoy a more complicated plot than she can read herself, and listening is really going to hook her, because when you get to chapter books, you’re getting into the real meat of print – there is really complicated, serious stuff going on that kids are ready to hear and understand, even if they can’t read at that level yet. Read Article

UPDATE (9-18-2017)

We wanted to add a great blog post from that further supports the findings in this original post, adding additional/more current research on the subject. According to the author and child psychologist, Sandra Cobain, reading aloud offers several important benefits to children, ranging from an increased grasp of text to enhanced bonding with a parent/reader to improved vocabulary. Read Blog Post.

Publication:      GreatKids
Author:             Connie Mathiessen