Celebrating Fathers Who Read Aloud

father reading coverMy husband is truly one of the best fathers I know.

He took note from his father who lived life to the fullest and was sure to teach him the importance of embracing fatherhood.

One of my favorite memories of my husband, Fred, being a great father was simply reading bedtime stories to our girls. I would have read to them myself, but I was in charge of bath time and that takes substantial recovery time as some of you may know.

Each and every night of the week he made books magical when they were small by creating voices and suspense when reading aloud. I can remember the girls piled on our bed with my husband having a girl cuddled on each side.

The time reading out loud was as special as the toothpaste scented giggles that filled the room. He was patient and took his time reading these stories to them. He would ask them each questions about the story, the illustrations, characters, and even asked the girls to predict what might happen on the very next page.

Reading aloud to children is vital because it helps them acquire the information and skills they need in life, such as:

– Knowledge of printed letters and words, and the relationship between sound and print.
– The meaning of words.
– How books work and a variety of writing styles.
– The world in which they live.
– The difference between written language and everyday conversation.
– The pleasure of reading.

The girls today have favorite picture books that they read to each other in the same dramatic way he would. He taught the girls the art of a properly placed pause and how to dazzle the audience with the flourish of a whispered sentence, spoken at just the right time in the story to give the listener goose bumps. SHIVER!

I asked my daughters to bring me their favorite storybook from when they were little. I could have told you exactly what they would bring. The books placed on the kitchen table next to me still sit on their bookshelf years and years later.

Ellie’s Favorite Book Selection is Zen Shorts by Jon Muth. Zen Shorts is a Caldecott Award Honor book for artful illustrations in a children’s picture publication. This book is about a giant panda named Stillwater who moves into a neighborhood and befriends three children. One by one, the children visit Stillwater, enjoying his company and listening to him tell a brief tale that demonstrates a Zen principle. Illustrated in glorious watercolors the book comes alive through a read aloud teaching children and adults valuable life lessons.

Sagan’s Favorite Book Selection is Biscuit Story Collection by Alyssa Satin Capucilli. Biscuit is a yellow puppy that learns about his home and community through these short stories. What makes these charming stories fun for all ages is the repetition of the animal sounds in each story. “Woof, woof!” “Bow, Wow!” and “Meow!” are repeated often through the stories that children can read out loud with you! Such fun!

Looking for some professional tips on reading to your child? Here are two excellent videos produced by Scholastic book publishers that demonstrate good practices for reading aloud with children in all grades.

Reading Aloud to Your Grade-Schooler

Reading Aloud to Your Pre-Teen

I might have taught our girls how to read, but my husband taught them the art of storytelling and instilled in them a passion for reading aloud. They will carry this literacy legacy to their children and grandchildren.

References:

“Facts About Reading Aloud,” Reading Is Fundamental, http://www.rif.org/us/literacy-resources/articles/facts-about-reading-aloud.htm


Dr. Jeanne GiardinoDr. Jeanne Giardino, FLVS instructor, has a true passion for all things literacy. She enjoys the collaborative process in promoting reading in all aspects of virtual education. Having held a variety of positions with FLVS since 2006, she brings a global perspective to her current position. After 20 years in the field of education, she maintains a wealth of literacy knowledge and enthusiasm for student success.



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