You know you are supposed to be reading aloud to your kids. You have seen all of the info-graphics on how much a difference it will make in your child’s life. You want to be that parent who loves reading to their children.
But you’re not.
Maybe it’s because you are dyslexic, or because you have a hard time reading out loud. Maybe it’s because English isn’t your first language. Or maybe it’s something temporary like having laryngitis. Whatever the reason is, reading aloud to your kids is hard for you.
This does not make you a bad parent. Heck, if you are sitting here reading this post about how to read to your kids despite these challenges, you’re obviously a parent who cares about their kids.
The four ideas below are simple ways that you can read to your kids despite those challenges.
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Finger Reading Picture Books
Use your finger to follow the words that you are reading. This will help you be able to read the words AND it is a great learning tool for your kids. It’s okay to read slowly and to read “easy” books. Especially for preschool through early elementary finger reading is a great way for your kids to start learning sight words.
“Reading” Wordless Picture Books
A lot of the value of reading to your kids can come to them without there being any actual reading. Using wordless picture books and creating your own stories will still provide your child access to an extended vocabulary and instill in them the importance of reading. As they get older have them help you create the story as you go through the book together. You can check out some of our favorite wordless picture books here.
Audio Picture Books
There are more and more ebooks that look like picture books and have an audio track that comes with then. While these are a full replacement for a physical book, when you “read” them together they can still have a lot of the same effects. Just make sure to still take cues from your child and pause and ask questions the same way you would if you were reading the story to them.
Using Audiobooks and Picture Books Together
Much like the idea above, audiobooks are a great way to help ease the burden of reading. Look for audiobooks that you also have the physical picture book for. Turn on the audiobook and sit with your child and flip the pages in time with the reading. Still take cues from your child and pause and engage with them throughout the story.
Not all of these ideas will work for everyone but hopefully one of them will be just the right thing for you and your family. If you have other read-aloud tips that you have come up with please share them in the comments below.
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