READ ALOUD BASICS: Making children book lovers and not haters (Part 3)




2. Who Should Read Aloud?

   Who should read aloud? Me! You! We all have to.

 It is a common assumption that reading aloud is something children should do to we adults in order to show us their reading proficiencies. Perhaps we have forgotten those days of our childhood of tales by moonlight, bed time stories, and courtyard story times riddled with various moral values.

       Just the same role our old way of our traditional storytelling plays, reading aloud plays a similar role in our digitalized world where we’re fast moving to a more nuclear inclined family setting than our old extended family structure. It becomes important that adults, parents, teachers, siblings, in-laws, and neighbors’ take up the responsibility to read aloud to children in order to tell them about our values, customs, traditions, nation, continent, and world and in all give them an invaluable gift in life “the love for books”.


3.  When to Start and Stop Read Aloud?

There is a saying that says “the earlier the better” but there is also a saying that says “it’s never too late”. So whatever state you are in now, the best time to start is now not minding the age of the child.

       A child is ready to be read to the moment that the child is ready to be talked to. Since we talk to a child from the cradle then the child is ready to be read to, after all reading to a child from cradle only enrich the word environment of the child right from infancy, preparing the child for a word rich future and hopefully a successful lifetime, God’s  willing. As for when to stop, I will advice you do this into adulthood and make it a lifetime project as the bond created by read-aloud can never be underestimated.  


4. Read Aloud Do’s.

·        Read what you like and like what you read.

·        Read the right books at the right time – choose books that speak to both the appropriate reading level and a child’s developmental readiness for the story.

·        Respect your child’s taste but know that your guidance is required in helping your child find books worth knowing with characters worth meeting.

·        Keep the pleasure in Reading. If a book is too difficult, your child may better understand and enjoy the story if you read it to him out loud because usually a child’s listening comprehension is like three grades above his reading comprehension. Also encourage your child to read another book on his own for pleasure.

·        Read Aloud. A child’s desire to learn to read comes from being read to. Reading to your child taps into his imagination and curiosity and creates a love of story. Many of the skills children need to become good readers are first learned in the story they hear.

·        Slow Down: Encourage your child to read fewer books and know them well. Children need comprehension not speed to be good readers.

·        Encourage your child to read a book more than once. Repetition builds comprehension.

·        Audio books (not the abridged stories) are terrific. Listening to books while driving or with an iPod, mp3 …… in the bus is great and time spent wisely. Audio books are excellent in increasing their memory banks and as well help build their word vocabularies.

·        Create time(s) in the day when reading can happen. Bed time reading is wonderful but is not the only time of the day to read. You can establish read aloud during breakfast, lunch, dinner period or any other suitable time.

·        Expect your children to love reading and support their expectations by helping them find books that they love.

(to be continued)


Abdul Ghaniy Otukogbe. He is married with 3 kids, a Learning Instructor with Adult Education of ERYC, UK – with special interest in Literacy, Numeracy and Learning Disabilities.


3 thoughts on “READ ALOUD BASICS: Making children book lovers and not haters (Part 3)

    • That would really be nice. I know Hans Andersen has about 168 stories to credit and I can imagine your baby starting to hear his stories from 3 weeks old! I love ‘the ugly duckling’ and the sad but soothing ‘Little match seller’. There really is nothing as sweet as a child listening to daddy’s soothing voice reading a story. Go for it! I know your baby will enjoy the bonding.

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