Our children may be capable of reading alone, but this doesn’t take away from the importance of reading together, as this helps them engage with us and the outside world.
As parents or educators, our attention is focused on developing multiple positive skill sets such as critical thinking as well as emotional skills like empathy.
There is no doubt that getting children into the habit of reading and adults reading with them sometimes, helps to develop their critical thinking skills and deep thinking about a specific topic or book.
Critical thinking doesn’t develop overnight though, and it requires many many discussions which a great quality book can ignite. These debates become a great breeding ground to develop problems solving skills and thinking out of the box.
When reading together, here’s what you need to keep in mind….
1- Support your children in their choice of book that you’ll read together, and then ask them to tell you why they chose that specific book. It usually gives you valuable insight into their state of mind when they choose a specific book.
2- Assign them the task of reading out loud to the family, especially with the more challenging books. This builds confidence and persistence. You can even encourage them to change their tonality and pitch as they switch characters.
3- Ask open-ended questions around the actions of a particular character, or the purpose of the book. This means helping our children to think outside of the box, beyond the text, and make personal connections to their lives. One of the great benefits of reading with children is watching their growing imagination. When we really engage in a book we imagine what the characters are doing. We imagine the setting as reality.
4- Reading together is a great way to improve the emotional intelligence of our children through in-depth discussions of the books. When a child can put himself into the story it helps them to develop empathy. They identify with characters, and they feel what they are feeling. Children begin to understand and relate to emotions.