Do you make your (older primary) child read aloud to you?

(32 Posts)
KizzyWayfarer Tue 04-Sep-18 21:40:17

I’ve just read an email from our headteacher which (among other things) goes on about the importance of older children still ‘reading with parents’. But it doesn’t explain why, and I can’t see what they would gain as opposed to the risk of putting them off reading. If they’re happy reading on their own would you just let them get on with it? I guess we all look back to our own childhoods and I was a bookworm who certainly never read aloud to my parents once I could read.

OP’s posts: |
brisklady Tue 04-Sep-18 21:54:54

I had stopped reading with my Y5 child, because I thought he was getting too old for it and it was unnecessary (I still used to read to him, but didn't make him read to me). We then got a similar letter from the school, and I have gone back to getting him to read a few pages to me each night. And I have to say, I think it's made a significant difference to his comprehension and enjoyment of books. Because he's a technically very able reader, he tended to read books too quickly and wouldn't take them in properly; getting him to read to us seems to have helped him slow his reading down a bit when he's reading to himself, so he's now understanding books more deeply - and is enjoying a wider range of fiction books as a result. He's also got a lot of pleasure from doing 'voices' for different characters - whether that's having a go at regional accents or just doing comic voices for 'fun' characters - which in turn has helped to bring characters more to life for him. And it's also flagged up bits and pieces of pronunciation and vocabulary that he wasn't clear on - things that I might have just assumed he knew. So yes - to my surprise, I've found it really worthwhile. I very much doubt we'll continue reading together after he goes to secondary, but I'm going to try to keep it going during Y6.

KizzyWayfarer Tue 04-Sep-18 22:16:58

Thanks, that’s really interesting.

OP’s posts: |
Believeitornot Tue 04-Sep-18 22:18:45

This is going to make me get my ds (Y4) read again. He hates it - probably because he gets self conscious - but I’ll just do a few minutes a night.

I didn’t read to adults when younger but I know I read way too quickly and also didn’t know how to pronounce words properly either.

LakeFlyPie Tue 04-Sep-18 22:29:37

DS (10) who is a slightly reluctant reader enjoys his easier / fun books alone and we read alternate pages to each other of more challenging books (currently enjoying The Hobbit) most evenings.
I think it does help to extend his vocabulary and allow him to correct pronunciation and we both enjoy the time together.

brisklady Tue 04-Sep-18 22:35:17

A couple of things that might help with the self-consciousness. First, don't actively listen too much while he's reading, at least to start with. If you can find a job to get on with while he's reading - like sorting the laundry or something - so it seems like you're only half-listening, he might be more relaxed. You might not be able to do quite so much comprehension/vocab stuff with him, but it will still help him to be reading out loud (and he might get less self-conscious over time). Second, find a book with lots of dialogue (preferably a funny book) that you can read together almost like a play - so you do the narrative and he does some or all of the characters.

RaggieDolls Tue 04-Sep-18 22:39:02

I think reading out loud is a different skill to reading in your head. I think it's important children continue to develop tone, pace, understanding of how to use punctuation etc.

I also agree with the comments about it helping with continuing to develop comprehension skills.

I agree that a few pages or a single chapter is enough though alongside them reading to themselves.


RhinestoneCowgirl Tue 04-Sep-18 22:41:34

Both DC were great readers by age 6/7, but they really didn't want to read aloud to me. I didn't push it, but did talk about what they had been reading (to help with comprehension). DH and I also carried on reading aloud to the DC - and still do now, even though they are 9 and 12.

It's great if you can get them to read aloud, but for us it was becoming a sticking point and I didn't want to put them off reading.

MrsZB Tue 04-Sep-18 22:48:10

We have a book of poems and take it in turns to read one each night. The kids love it and it’s a very gentle way to hear them reading aloud.

BikeRunSki Tue 04-Sep-18 22:52:13

I like to read to, and be read to, by DS (very nearly 10). It helps with comprehension and pronunciation, and we both enjoy it as a bed time ritual wr’ve had since he was born. It almost always triggers other discussions. We don’t do this every night, although he reads to himself every night. We read together about twice a week.

Ihatemycar Tue 04-Sep-18 23:09:39

I find if they read out loud you can identify what words they may not be able to pronounce or know the meaning.
Our son is an avid reader but we read together for years. His vocabulary is extensive. Worth doing and you get to hug them a lot.
We used to read one page each.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Tue 04-Sep-18 23:14:51

My son is very good reader and is seven and starting year two. With him he reads a short amount to me then reads rest in his head.

user789653241 Tue 04-Sep-18 23:45:45

My ds's school asks children to read aloud even in upper primary.
Ds(10) still reads a chapter a day most of nights. We do actually enjoy talking about the books together. And he is a very good reader.

Kokeshi123 Wed 05-Sep-18 00:29:36

Depends on the child. I do think that "reading aloud well" is a good skill to learn. On the other hand, my main concern for older primary age kids will always be, how can I make reading a positive experience so that they will do lots of it? If a child really hates reading aloud I would not push it.

Norestformrz Wed 05-Sep-18 06:49:28

I think it's very important to continue to listen to your child. It's very easy to develop bad habits like skipping or substituting words when meeting new vocabulary. It's also important to discuss unfamiliar words. Does your child know what they mean.

TeenTimesTwo Wed 05-Sep-18 08:30:11

What ^^they all said re
- meaning of words
- pronunciation
- reading with expression
- accuracy
It also helps with summarisation skills. I used to get DD2 to summarise where she was up to. She would then read a couple of pages out loud, and then return to silent reading.

Like a PP we stopped too early with DD1. Her pronunciation of unknown words is much worse.

Baumederose Wed 05-Sep-18 08:32:38

As other have said, plus very good readers may be able to read the words but have absolutely no idea what it means. So you can ask them questions about the page or book and discuss the story. Do they understand what's happening? Why characters may be saying or doing the things described?

Ariela Wed 05-Sep-18 08:35:37

I used to get mine to read to me while I cooked tea - my excuse being I liked to read but if I was cooking tea I couldn't, so it worked well. Used to pick some of my old childhood books for her to read rather than the school stuff, so we went through things like Milly Molly Mandy, various Enid Blyton and ended up with Pullein-Thompson & Ruby Ferguson..

TwoOddSocks Wed 05-Sep-18 09:38:04

I think it depends on the child. I think when you read together not only are you enjoying the book you're enjoying the time together and probably discussing the book (what do you think will happen, why did she do that? etc) in the same way you'd watch a film together. As others have said there's usually a mismatch between comprehension and reading ability. I don't think it should be forced if the child finds it excruciating but it's a nice idea.

eddiemairswife Wed 05-Sep-18 10:00:10

I would never have wanted to read aloud to my parents. We did quite a lot of reading around the class when I was at junior school. My children didn't bring home reading books, so I didn't have to hear them read, but I had to suffer it with my grandchildren.

sirfredfredgeorge Wed 05-Sep-18 11:12:09

What sort of books are people reading where there's a high enough frequency of words to a 9 year old that you actually have ones to discuss?

So, maybe reading aloud at a fast 150 words per minute, twenty minutes of reading means the 3000 words, what books have such a high frequencty of unknown words where pronounciation and meaning might be lost on a kid with a receptive vocabulary of maybe 30,000 words.

I do think regular discussions with an adult have a huge benefit, and reading could help facillitate that, but that's not really being read to that is actually the thing. And of course reading aloud is a skill itself, so I all think it's a great idea. I just don't get how often an older KS2 kid should be finding words not in their vocabulary that a random 20 minute read to an adult is going to find them.

Kokeshi123 Wed 05-Sep-18 13:38:47

Children continue to learn new words from reading right through their teens. If it's a remotely challenging book (esp nonfiction), of course they are going to encounter new words!! New concepts as well.

eddiemairswife Wed 05-Sep-18 13:40:00

They're probably reading Dickens or George Eliot!!

megletthesecond Wed 05-Sep-18 13:40:27

Yes. Although we moved to newspaper articles at that age.
I tidied the kitchen while DS read at the table.

sproutsandparsnips Wed 05-Sep-18 14:19:43

I never got ds 1 to read to me after about year 3. He was an able reader and I thought it wasn't necessary as he reads every day to himself. However, although I don't think it's done him any harm, he does come out with some odd pronunciations which I think is as a result of not hearing them or being corrected. He knows the meaning but pronounces them wrongly (quite funny sometimes actually!)

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