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Father and daughter enjoy reading book together at home.

The Benefits of Reading With Your Children

When my daughter was about 5, her favorite book was the “The Gingerbread Man.” You know, the classic story of a giant, smiling cookie who spends his entire existence running from all the cookie-craving townspeople (even a pig) while chanting, “Run, run, as fast as you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man.”

Sophia asked me to read this book to her multiple times a day. To be honest, I was so tired of reading about this oversized marathon-running cookie man that I would skip parts of the story, secretly hoping It would go unnoticed. Gasp! I know, not mom-of-the-year material, right? Well, not so fast. Reading aloud (even with skipping a few sentences) gave Sophia a life-long gift of literacy, which I think is worthy of celebrating.

Sadly, by the time kids reach middle school most parents are probably not reading to their kids anymore. Parents and teens may think they are too old. The truth is they are never too old to reap the benefits of reading aloud together.

As Sophia entered her preteen years, we had gotten away from reading stories aloud. Recently she told me she was frustrated with her book assignments, so we began taking turns reading chapters aloud. I thought this would be a good way to assess where she needed the extra help. At first, she grumbled about the idea but soon began looking forward to our “story time.” Not only did I discover where she needed extra support, I watched her confidence, comprehension, and vocabulary blossom. The best part was, we only read each book once.

Here is a list of some of the wonderful benefits you and your school-aged child can glean from reading together:

  • Expanded vocabulary.
  • Increased comprehension.
  • Parent and child bonding.
  • Opportunity to discuss topics in a non-intrusive way.
  • Improved listening skills.

I highly recommend finding a comfy place to read, grabbing a snack (maybe a gingerbread cookie), and watching your child soar.

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About Adrianna and Ryan Walden

About Adrianna and Ryan  Walden

Ryan and Adrianna Walden have been married for 17 years. The two met when she was working for an arena football team in Norfolk where he was playing football. Ryan is a service coordinator with the Chesapeake Early Intervention Program and Adrianna is a Licensing Specialist for Children's Programs with the Department of Education. Both enjoyed teaching CHKD’s "Happiest Baby" class together for over a decade. Together they have one daughter, who despite early health issues, is now a thriving and happy teen. The Walden's have a passion for working with children and married couples.