The holidays are upon us. The days and nights are chilly. It’s family time. And what better way to share these winter hours than reading aloud together?
As you probably know, I am a big advocate of reading aloud and have written about it on numerous occasions. I’ve praised the work of Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook (now in its eighth edition!), who has done so much to encourage young readers. More recently, Natalie Wexler, author of The Knowledge Gap, has written about the impact that building vocabulary and knowledge has on academic success.
Now a study out of The Ohio State University pegs the value of reading aloud down with a dazzling number: “Young children whose parents read them five books a day enter kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than kids who were never read to.”
Reading aloud to a child — and continuing to read aloud even after they can read — instills knowledge, expands vocabulary, and supports critical thinking. It’s hard to imagine a better gift!
I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season, and I hope you will take these words to heart and spend some time together each day reading aloud.
Sandie Barrie Blackley
Sandie is a speech-language pathologist with more than 30 years of experience in the private practice sector. She is Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders at University of North Carolina Greensboro, and founder/owner of the Language & Learning Clinic, PLLC, a private practice in Elkin, NC, and Greensboro, NC, specializing in communication disorders, including disorders of reading and written language.