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What is the Family Reading Club

As parents and caregivers you remember the hours spent reading aloud to your littles, but you may have stopped when those children began reading on their own.

But reading aloud to school-aged children has many benefits.

  • Literacy skills: Listening to books read aloud can improve your child’s vocabulary, listening comprehension, phonics, and familiarity with the printed word.
  • Love of reading: Your example (and that of older sibs) shows your children that reading is important, fun, and valued.
  • Bonding time: Reading together is a great opportunity to be close to your children and create memories together. Reading together may be a great way for siblings at different ages and with different interests to bond together, too.

Tips for getting started

  • Choose books all family members will enjoy, or take turns choosing.
  • Most children are able to listen to and understand a book two grades above their reading level, so it’s okay to choose books that your child would not be able to read independently.
  • Extend your reading with activities mentioned in the book like cooking a recipe or trying a craft or sport. Draw a picture of a favorite character.
  • Explore a new interest with a book related to that topic.
  • Schedule a regular day and time for your family to read aloud.
  • Who reads? That’s up to you. In your family, taking turns reading aloud might work well, or the narrator might suit one caregiver better.
  • If a book isn’t working for your family, move on to something new. There are too many good books out there to spend time on one you don’t enjoy.
  • Most importantly, enjoy reading together as a family!

Not sure how to start a discussion?

  • Encourage children to ask questions about things they don’t understand. It might help to have a list that they can add to for later discussion.
  • Model and encourage your children to share things they feel strongly about and share a passage from the book that raised those feelings.
  • Brainstorm which parts of the book deserve discussion.
  • Find out more about the author and consider what experiences might have inspired the book you read. How are the author’s life experiences similar and different from those of your family?
  • Think about the characters. Are there characters that are like you? In what ways? Are there characters that are different from you? Did they introduce you to new ideas or perspectives?
  • What are some of the problems the characters face? How would you handle those situations?
  • If you enjoyed the book and want to share it with a friend on the playground in about a minute tomorrow, what would you say to make them interested in reading the book, too?

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