Reading with children is one of the most enjoyable things a parent, grandparent or carer can do, and as a bonus it helps their language development.
Shared reading is different to guided reading – listening and helping your child practice read aloud.
While it is not the case that children learn to read simply by being read to, shared reading is one of the essential literacy experiences that contribute to children becoming good and willing readers. Books contain words, grammar and language structures that are different to conversational language.
Shared reading activities is largely about nurturing a love of reading and books but there are some things that will make the experience especially beneficial for children.
Shared reading is important for children of all ages. It needn’t stop when they are able to read independently.
One of the keys is to read with your child, rather than to your child.
Involve children in the reading experience by letting them choose books, discussing the story and the characters, talking about the sounds and meanings of the words, and talking about the pictures.
Louise Park gives great advice on choosing books here.
Simple tips for shared reading that will enhance children’s literacy development:
With younger children:
With older children: