When older kids start to read independently parents oftentimes stop reading to and with them. Many parents think that by this age, their older kids can read on their own, and now longer need their help with reading. However, parents who stop reading to and with their older kids miss out on important opportunities to understand their offspring, gauge their knowledge, and participate in parental involvement. Read on to discover five reasons why reading with older kids is absolutely necessary.
1) Variety Is The Spice of Life
Reading with older kids is more fun than reading with little kids. Young kids enjoy reading the same short books over and over, every night; on the contrary, older kids don’t get stuck on reading one book every single night. Rather, older kids enjoy longer stories with more in-depth plots and characters. There will never be a single second of bored, while reading with older kids.
2) They Actually Comprehend It
Older kids have increased levels of reading comprehension, which means that they can better understand stories and characters than younger kids. Stories tend to have multiple layers, and what they didn’t grasp when they were younger; they now come to realize what they have not realized before. This experience tends to happen with picture books, as well as with more complex books with chapters.
3) Teach Life Lessons
When reading to and with older kids you can impart lessons about life without sounds like you are lecturing or preaching. While reading with your older kid, you can creep in discussions about difficult topics. They will be so involved in the story, which they won’t realize that they are already talking about the difficult subject matter such as death, racism, divorce, sickness, etc. This is a good way to introduce older kids to stories that don’t have anything to do with their own lives, but help them become aware of the world around them.
4) Insight Into Their Lives
As kids grow older they begin to leave you out of the loop sometimes. It’s not that they don’t love you; it’s just that they are trying to assert their independence. However, when reading with your older child, interesting bits of their lives and feelings come to life. Oftentimes, while reading a story, older kids will recognize or connect with something that has happened to them or someone they know, and they begin to share that story with you. In essence, your old kid is becoming a storyteller and sharing a bit about his or her own lives with you.
5) One-on-One Time
Reading with older kids can lead to spending valuable one-on-one time them, which you might not have any other way. You can spend time learning and laughing with each other, and forming many inside jokes about the stories you’ve read. Also, if you’re bilingual, or an English Language Learner, you can read bilingual books with your older kids, so that they can learn your native language and more about their heritage and culture.