“The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.” Jim Trelease in The Read-Aloud Handbook
In a few weeks we will be releasing the 18th book in The Adirondack Kids® series. This will be our 18th book in 18 years!
But The Adirondack Kids® really began 28 years ago when the series co-writer, Justin, was an infant. That was when I began to read aloud to him and did so nearly every day of his life until he was 12 years old.
As he grew older, he would read to me or we would play word games or change the endings to stories.
When he was about to enter the third grade I learned about the 4th grade slump – that first identified danger time when many young people drop out of reading for pleasure – and that boys tend to drop out of reading before girls do.
In an attempt to help Justin avoid the slump and keep him engaged with words, I asked him if he would like to write with me about adventures at the family camp. He did, and then we would spend some of those nights reading aloud what we had written.
It was years later when I discovered the benefits of having consistently read aloud to him all that time. And in recent years we have tried to pass along to other parents and grandparents some of what we have learned. Thus, the opening quote of this blog from Jim Trelease:
“The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.”
Here are just a few of the benefits of reading aloud to your children and grandchildren shared by Trelease in his Read-Aloud Handbook, 7th edition, and Sarah Mackenize in her brand new book, The Read Aloud Family.
Read Aloud to your children and grandchildren with consistency and you will become a reading role model and brain builder for them. Among the benefits?
By Reading Aloud your children and grandchildren will:
Expand their vocabulary well beyond the 10,000 most commonly used words.
Accumulate background knowledge necessary to advance comprehension and understanding.
Link reading with gratification.
Be encouraged to become a reader for life.
We are often asked what the grade level is for The Adirondack Kids® books. But here is something else we learned from the experts in this field. Trelease points out “…children have both a reading level and a listening level and they’re usually not the same.” He gives an example:
“A 4th-grader may be reading on a 4th-grade level but can listen to stories on a 6th-grade level.”
This made perfect sense when a grandmother told us that she had read aloud the second book in The Adirondack Kids® series, Rescue on Bald Mountain, to her four-year-old grandson. The Adirondack Kids® books are written at a grade level for elementary school students from 7-12 years of age. But this happy grandmother told us when they took a field trip to the mountain where the book was set, her four-year-old grandson was referring to specific things from the story all along the trail!
The Read-Aloud experts also recommend to keep on reading to your children even after they are able to read for themselves. Why? Because among a number of wonderful things, while you are doing the decoding, this can free them up to more completely enter into the story.
We initially read aloud to Justin with the hope it would one day benefit him. He now reads to his son, and we to our grandson, knowing it will! And we hope if you are not yet reading aloud to the children in your life, you may be inspired to begin even now.
Before we began our blog we were advised not to promote anything that would take people away from our site. We thought that was a bit too self-serving! So, while we do not benefit monetarily from promoting the two books below, we are confident our readers and their families can really benefit from what they have to offer!
Question: Have you been reading aloud to your children or grandchildren? What were some of your favorite books or most memorable experiences?
Justin paddling on Moss Lake, West-Central Adirondacks
Coming soon as our first vlog: The Loons are Back!
© 2018 Adirondack Kid Press, Ltd.