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Reading Aloud

Books, beautiful books! Storybooks and picture books, Bibles and commentaries, educational books and puzzle books, encyclopaedias and dictionaries, novels and non-fiction books on every topic under the sun – these treasures are irreplaceable despite all the technological advances. Open their pages and you can do things, go places and learn about all sorts. Make use of the library or the local charity shop and the adventure in each book is relatively cheap. Do you gain as much as you could from these wonderful resources? Reading aloud to your family allows for optimal use of a book.

There are many advantages to reading aloud to your children. Firstly, it is a social activity that gives the family a sense of unity. You have a common interest and gain common knowledge. You can speculate together what will happen next or the book may form a basis for discussion, either immediately or sometime in the future. But there is more to it than merely taking part in a common activity. As you gather your children around you to listen, you create a nurturing atmosphere. The sense of security that results contributes to later development of healthy independence.

Secondly, reading aloud gives our children access to books that they would not usually choose to read for themselves and those that are too difficult for them. When children can read for themselves, a whole new world opens for them, but they only have access to books at their own reading level. Reading aloud exposes them to stories, vocabulary and ideas in books that are above their reading abilities.

Thirdly, reading aloud obviously contributes to various aspects of language development. It expands vocabulary and stimulates cognitive growth. The constant analysis of language and the comprehension of information facilitate further learning as the children apply their abilities to other situations. In addition, the family is exposed to a variety of ‘virtual’ experiences that result in increased general knowledge. While everyone enjoys the pleasure of hearing the same story, each person’s imagination is stimulated individually. This contributes to lively and interesting discussions or debates.

Fourthly, along with language and cognitive development goes character development. As adults we automatically, and perhaps even subconsciously, make judgements about the characters in the book. As we teach our children to make the same critical evaluation, they gain knowledge of what constitutes admirable character and what does not.

Fifthly, gathering together around a good book is fun, relaxing, and for a busy mom, not very taxing. Reading aloud is a handy alternative to teaching when the usual routine has to be abandoned. It requires no preparation, no equipment except a book, can be done in a variety of places and is many lessons in one activity. It is pure pleasure and highly educational at the same time. Enjoy!

Tips on reading aloud:

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Recommended books on home education

Home is not the same as school education. Reading a variety of books on the subject helps to crystallise the differences and to realise the many opportunities available to us from a home education point of view.

Codes given with each book refer to book suppliers listed at the end.

Suppliers Details:

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