In this day and age of hectic lives and busy schedules, reading together with your family is a simple and enjoyable way to slow things down. The bonus? You may just inspire your children to become lifelong readers.
Some of my fondest memories of growing up include cozying up on my mom’s big double bed, surrounded by cushions as we shared a story every night. We would read books about all sorts of places and people — everything from The Very Hungry Caterpillar to Anne of Green Gables – and I loved every minute of it.
I am certain that my passion for books as an adult stems from these warm and positive experiences as a child – and within the last decade, there has been a great deal of research that shows the long-term benefits of bedtime reading.
According to the American Library Association, children who start school with years of happy reading aloud experiences under their belts grow into confident learners in all subject areas simply because they are in the best possible position to get the most out of school. Their strong language and listening skills and wide general knowledge help them to understand more of what the teacher says and give them the ability to confidently take part in class discussions.
After all, the oh-so-wise Dr. Seuss once said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
So whether you’re an old pro at reading to your children, or just starting out, snuggle up with your family tonight, and read a good book. Need a good suggestion? Take a look at the 2012 nominees for the E.B. White Read-Aloud Award – these are the cream of the crop when it comes to read-alouds:
For Kids Ages 6+
The Apothecary by Maile Meloy
The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright
The Flint Heart by Katherine Paterson and John Paterson
Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
Wildwood by Colin Meloy
For Pre-School Children