Generally, when we think of reading, we think of words on pages or screens. But reading can be overwhelming, frustrating, and fatiguing. If your child’s eyes get tired, here are some ways to help them read with their ears.
Read Books Aloud
Reading aloud is common practice with younger children who can’t read on their own, but it can be a useful learning tool for older kids as well.
In her article, “7 Reasons Why Reading Aloud to Older Kids is Still Very Important,” Shannon Younger quotes Jim Trelease, author of the “Read-Aloud-Handbook.”Trelease said a child’s reading level does not match their listening skills until they reach 8th grade. For example, if you read a 7th grade level book to a 5th grade child, they have the ability to hear the words, understand the story, and comprehend the language. This will open them up to more intricate plots, and put them on track to develop a love for reading, literature, and knowledge in general.
Trelease said reading aloud also benefits the child by giving them an opportunity to learn the benefits of analysis and critical thinking. Teachers can interrupt the story intermittently to prompt students with thought provoking questions.
Listen to Audiobooks
As another alternative, Melissa Taylor said in her blog, “6 Tips to Make Reading Fun, Not Frustrating,” that audiobooks are a legitimate way to pique children’s interest in reading. Taylor said audiobooks build vocabulary and provide exposure to narrative techniques. More importantly, it allows children to muse on the story itself, without being bogged down by the task of reading.
Here are some ideas on how you can incorporate audiobooks into daily life.
· If you have a long commute to school, listen to an audiobook during your drive. This will help stimulate the mind and could make children more excited to get in the car and go to school.
· Audiobooks are an excellent way for a whole family to enjoy a story on road trips. As a family, you will share in the thrills, mystery, suspense, fear, and humor.
· Audiobooks allow for creative multitasking. Occasionally, try taking an audio book out on family walks through the park. Or even listen to one while you do chores.
As discussed in our colorful book diet blog, balance is key. Don’t forget about traditional reading methods, but have fun trying out these options with the children in your lives. You might be surprised by how much you enjoy reading with your ears.