Don't stop reading to them once they get older! Reading chapter books together is a good tool for older children. I have a friend who encourages his high school and college aged sons to read a book with him over the course of a few weeks or months (they each have their own copy) and they discuss it during some one-on-one time. How meaningful! Gosh, this friend has seven sons so that's a lot of reading!
Listed here are a few benefits from reading with your (younger) child:
1. Reading encourages family bonding. For many children "love" is spelled “T-I-M-E” and reading together requires good quantities of time! Reading will also promote communication between parents and children.
2. Routine - Regular reading contributes to predictability and routine in the home. If children know that every evening they will share a bedtime story or every morning a Bible story, they become secure in knowing what is expected at different times of the day.
3. Tradition - Another benefit of reading together is the establishement of a much loved family tradition.
4. Common experiences - Reading provides a family with shared experiences and a rich reserve of common knowledge from which to draw.
5. Teaching moments - Children can learn many lessons about how to function in the world from stories that they enjoy, especially if a parent discusses the issues that arise
6. Facilitates difficult topics - Reading carefully chosen books may facilitate communication about topics that might otherwise be difficult to broach.
7. Reading expands children’s horizons - Children can learn about other people, places and times through the reading of stories.
8. Healthy family entertainment - Reading aloud together introduces children to books as a form of entertainment and enables families to entertain themselves with topics of their own choosing, instead of being at the mercy of the television channels!
9. Develops discerning readers - Another benefit of reading is that introducing your children to good quality stories from a young age will help them to become discerning readers with a taste for good literature when they are older.
10. Sparks life-long interests - Reading aloud may seed a child with a life-long interest in a particular field.
11. Develops attentiveness - Reading aloud teaches children to pay attention, focus and concentrate.
12. Reading aloud develops auditory perception – the skill of hearing and understanding what has been said.
13. Reading develops vocabulary and pronunciation skills. Children will be exposed to words they would not normally encounter.
14. Aids deciphering new words - Having a wider vocabulary will enable a beginner reader to decipher new words more easily as he already understands them and knows how to pronounce them.
15. Models good language - Reading good written text provides a model of good grammar and sentence structure which will promote good language skills, both oral and written, in children.
16. Links written and spoken language - Reading aloud helps young children understand the relationship between written text and the spoken word.
17. Stories feed the mind as food feeds the body. Children have a hunger for good literature.
18. Develops cognitive skills - Reading aloud develops children’s imaginations and creativity.
19. Increases IQ -Reading aloud has been shown to increase cognitive ability and IQ scores.
20. Develops curiosity - Reading stories develops children’s curiosity about people, places, motives and more.
21. Enjoyable learning - Reading together enables children to learn about subject matter that might be dry and boring in other formats. For example, a story set in historical times will make learning about that time period far more interesting than just reading the dry facts in a text book.
22. Promotes lifelong learning - Children learn that much of the answers they need can be found in written format.
23. Reading aloud with your children will do all of the above for you, the parent, too! The benefit of reading is not just for your children.