Creative Child April 2019 - Page 25

His answer – “If you think about it, in the early years of school, almost all instruction is oral. The teaching is oral and the kids with the largest vocabularies have an advantage because they understand most of what the teacher is saying. The kids with small vocabularies don’t get what is going on from the start, and they’re likely to fall further and further behind as time goes on.” Trelease also explains the benefits of reading aloud to older children, saying that a child’s reading level doesn’t catch up to his listening level until eighth grade, so you can and should be reading seventh grade books to fifth grade kids. He says, “A fifth grader can enjoy a more complicated plot that she can read herself. 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.” He asserts that reading aloud to your older kids is also a good way to grapple with difficult issues. While a lecture about choosing good friends may go in one ear and out the other, hearing a story about a kid who hangs with the wrong crowd gives you a chance to discuss it together in a less threatening way. Trelease advocates even reading to high schoolers. He says that, even though kids have to read certain books for school, most of that material isn’t something they’d choose to read for pleasure. He says they develop a sweat mentality to reading and become “school-time readers, not life-time readers.” If kids only experience it as drudgery, they’ll avoid it, but if they are exposed to books to excite them, entertain them, or touch them in some way, they’ll develop a love for books. Ready to get started? Scholastic has a wonderful list of 100 best read aloud books which you can find here. Happy reading! 24