Reading Out Loud

Carol and daughter reading Nerissa Golden's Island Days
Carol and daughter reading Nerissa Golden’s Island Days

This photo was taken in 2013 and it still amazes me how much my daughter has grown in that time. She is still an avid reader–both of my children are–and we still share our joy of reading. Nowadays, we discuss books we’ve read and recommend them to one another. I love this interaction, I love when they finish a book and say ‘Mommy, you have to read this book,’ and I attribute much of that to the fact that we read as a family way beyond the time when the children were able to read for themselves.

For me, reading to the children became even more fun the older they got. Whenever I see a Roald Dahl book, I recall the sweet pleasure of giggling over the stories as we read them together. We read Kate DiCamillo’s The Magician’s Elephant and for years after we would occasionally catch one another’s eye, quote one of the books’ reoccurring lines “I only intended flowers,” and dissolve into laughter.

We read Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time when the children were six and eight years old respectively, a book they would not have tackled on their own at that time, but which was thoroughly enjoyable when I read it to them.

I could go on to list the benefits of reading to children for as long as they will let you, but I hope that the experiences I shared above convey the ideas even better than a list would.

Tell me what you think:
How old were the little ones in your life when you stopped reading to them?
Why did you stop?
What, if any, advantages do you think you or the children reaped from your reading to them?
Add your comments below.

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