Reading aloud was not something I was accustomed to as a child. We didn't go to the library. I wasn't introduced to good quality kids literature at a young age.
Heck, I didn't even know "good quality kids literature" was a thing until my oldest was born.
A wise mom with 5 kids taught me about that and gently encouraged me not to push my kids to be readers but instead to "love the story."
This lesson has profoundly affected the way I parent my kids when it comes to reading. My three kids learned to read in three very different ways and in three very different times in their school age years. Some kids learn to read quickly with ease and others take a bit more time.
Two of my kids needed varying amounts of speech therapy at a young age. As I threw myself in to learning about how their brains work and process information in relation to their speech issues, the same tips kept coming back.
Instead of getting frustrated with decoding and comprehension. We read aloud.
We cuddled up on the couch and read. We got free audio books from the library and read. We bought books from Audible and read in the car.
Along the way, reading levels increased and I noticed my kids became more confident in their ability to read. I knew I was on to something.
But more than anything, my kids grew to love a good story. They couldn't wait to finish a book. Characters we read about became new friends we would talk about in the car or around the dinner table.
I'm not a teacher or an SLP. I"m a mom, but I've learned that research shows that kids who are read aloud to (even AFTER they become independent readers) are better readers and better writers.
Yes, even into the teenage years, kids benefit from reading aloud. This podcast is fascinating and talks more about the benefits of reading aloud to older children.
So even in the midst of sports schedules and busy school year, we are going to find time to read aloud this year. I compiled some of our favorite books to read aloud for kids K-2nd grade. Of course, older kids will love these books too. So if they are around, ask them to join in and read!
I've already picked 4 of these books to read with my 2nd grader this year. Browse around and pick one up for your family!
From the publisher: Since 1926, Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends—Piglet, Owl, Tigger, Kanga, Roo, and the ever doleful Eeyore—have endured as the unforgettable creations of A. A. Milne, who wrote two books of Pooh’s adventures for his son, Christopher Robin, and Ernest H. Shepard, who lovingly gave them shape through his iconic and beautiful illustrations.
These characters and their stories are timeless treasures of childhood that continue to speak to all of us with the kind of freshness and heart that distinguishes true storytelling.
This deluxe volume brings both Pooh stories—Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner—together in one beautiful, full-color edition. The texts are complete and unabridged, and all of the illustrations, each gloriously recolored, are included. Elegant yet simple, whimsical yet wise, this classic edition is a book to savor and treasure.
From the publisher: Tommy and his sister Annika have a new neighbor, and her name is Pippi Longstocking. She has crazy red pigtails, no parents to tell her what to do, a horse that lives on her porch, and a flair for the outrageous that seems to lead to one adventure after another!
From the publisher: Welcome to Centerburg! Where you can win a hundred dollars by eating all the doughnuts you want; where houses are built in a day; and where a boy named Homer Price can foil four slick bandits using nothing but his wits and pet skunk.
The comic genius of Robert McCloskey and his wry look at small-town America has kept readers in stitches for generations!
From the publisher: Tucker is a streetwise city mouse. He thought he'd seen it all. But he's never met a cricket before, which really isn't surprising, because, along with his friend Harry Cat, Tucker lives in the very heart of New York City―the Times Square subway station. Chester Cricket never intended to leave his Connecticut meadow. He'd be there still if he hadn't followed the entrancing aroma of liverwurst right into someone's picnic basket. Now, like any tourist in the city, he wants to look around. And he could not have found two better guides―and friends―than Tucker and Harry. The trio have many adventures―from taking in the sights and sounds of Broadway to escaping a smoky fire.
Chester makes a third friend, too. It is a boy, Mario, who rescues Chester from a dusty corner of the subway station and brings him to live in the safety of his parents' newsstand. He hopes at first to keep Chester as a pet, but Mario soon understands that the cricket is more than that. Because Chester has a hidden talent and no one―not even Chester himself―realizes that the little country cricket may just be able to teach even the toughest New Yorkers a thing or two.
From the publisher: When Newt Newman's football-star brother, Chris, is knocked into a coma during the biggest game of the season, Newt's two best friends keep his mind off of the accident by helping him create the ultimate Halloween costume: Captain Nobody. Newt feels strong and confident in his new getup, so he keeps wearing it after Halloween is over. Soon Newt assumes the role of a hero in a string of exploits that include foiling a robbery and saving a planeload of passengers. But will Captain Nobody be able to save the one person he cares about most?
From the publisher: Every child needs to have a pet. No one could argue with that.
But what happens when your pet is an owl, and your owl is terrorizing the neighbourhood?
In Farley Mowat’s exciting children’s story, a young boy’s pet menagerie—which includes crows, magpies, gophers and a dog—grows out of control with the addition of two cantankerous pet owls. The story of how Wol and Weeps turn the whole town upside down s warm, funny, and bursting with adventure and suspense.
From the publisher: Armand, an old Parisian living on the streets of Paris, relished his solitary life. He begged and did odd jobs for money to keep himself warm and fed, and he liked his carefree life.
Then one day just before Christmas, a struggling mother and her three children walked into his life. Though he tried to ignore their troubles, Armand soon found himself caring for the family and sharing his unusual home under the bridge with them. It did not take Armand very long to realize that he had gotten himself ready-made family; one that he loved with all his heart, and one for whom he would have to find a better home than the bridge.
From the publisher: Hardly a day passes without Trille and Lena inventing some kind of adventure that often ends in trouble. Whether it’s coaxing a cow onto a boat or sledding down the steepest and iciest hill with a chicken, there is always a thrill—and sometimes an injury—to be had. Trille loves to share everything with Lena, even Auntie Granny’s waffles. But when Lena has to move away and Auntie Granny leaves the world, it sometimes seems like nothing will ever be right again. The warmth of friendship and the support of family suffuse this lightly illustrated novel, proving that when times are tough, a little taste of sweetness can make all the difference.
From the publisher: In the first novel from Newbery Medal–winning author Beverly Cleary, boys and girls alike will be charmed instantly by an average boy whose life is turned upside down when he meets a lovable puppy with a nose for mischief. This timeless classic now features a foreword written by New York Times bestselling author Judy Blume, as well as an exclusive interview with Beverly Cleary herself!
Just as Henry Huggins is complaining that nothing exciting ever happens, a friendly dog sits down beside him and looks pleadingly at his ice-cream cone. From that moment on, the two are inseparable. But when Ribsy's original owner appears, trying to reclaim his dog, Henry's faced with the possibility of losing his new best friend. Has Klickitat Street seen the last of rambunctious Ribsy?
From the publisher: Ever since he can remember, Robin, son of Sir John de Bureford, has been told what is expected of him as the son of a nobleman. He must learn the ways of knighthood. But Robin's destiny is changed in one stroke: He falls ill and loses the use of his legs. Fearing a plague, his servants abandon him and Robin is left alone.
A monk named Brother Luke rescues Robin and takes him to the hospice of St. Mark's where he is taught woodcarving and--much harder--patience and strength. Says Brother Luke, "Thou hast only to follow the wall far enough and there will be a door in it."
Robin soon enough learns what Brother Luke means. And when the great castle of Lindsay is in danger, it is Robin, who cannot mount a horse and ride to battle, who saves the townspeople and discovers there is more than one way to serve his king.
A Newbery Award winner. Won "Best Illustrated Book of the Year".
From the publisher:
Get in step with the colorful animals that race, waddle, and leap through these pages! From a fast-footed monkey to a two-timing fox, each creature has a story to tell and a moral to teach. These famous tales tickle the imagination and teach simple truths, ones that children and adults face every day.
Inside are twenty classic fables, including The Tortoise and the Hare, The Goose Who Laid the Golden Eggs, and The City Mouse and the Country Mouse. Passed from generation to generation, Aesop's best-loved fables are presented here with beautiful illustrations that bring these naughty, bold, brave, and lovable creatures to life.
From the publisher:
Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte's Web, high up in Zuckerman's barn. Charlotte's spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur's life when he was born the runt of his litter.
From the publisher: Mr. Popper's Penguins is one of the handful of American books for children that has attained the status of a classic. A humble house painter is sent a male penguin by the great Admiral Drake and, thanks to the arrival of a female penguin, soon has twelve penguins living in his house.