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Why is Reading Aloud So Important for Dads?

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By George Jacobs, Ph.D. and Wan Loh Inn, Ed.D.   Print
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What made us want to write about reading aloud to children? We had many reasons. First, research studies are clear that children gain many advantages when their dads and moms read to them. For instance, one book on research about reading stated, “The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children” and said that “[Reading aloud] is a practice that should continue throughout the grades.”

Indeed, many experts urge teachers, dads and moms, and other adults to read aloud to children whenever possible. For instance, Jim Trelease, the most famous author of books about reading aloud, states what he calls the “two basic reading facts of life.”

The two facts are that we will only do something again and again if it brings us pleasure, and we learn to read by reading again and again. Thus, if children find that reading brings them pleasure, they will read a lot and because they read a lot, they will read well. It all starts with pleasure, and the best way to connect pleasure and reading in children’s minds is to read aloud to them regularly.

In addition to reading research studies and seeing what the experts say, many dads and moms have told us that reading aloud greatly benefited the children who they read to. For instance, an administrative officer at a large chemical company told us how he had read aloud to his first child and the child had gone on to become an avid reader, but he had neglected to read aloud much to his second child and now has great difficulty getting that child anywhere near books.

All this evidence is support of reading aloud is powerful. However, what really convinced us to write about reading aloud was not what the research, the experts’ books or other people told us. What convinced us was our own personal experience with reading, whether it was someone reading aloud to us when we were children, us as adults reading aloud to children, or us reading books silently.

We believe firmly in the magic of reading, in its power to enliven our lives in so many ways. It’s something all Dads should be involved in, for the benefit of their children.

Dad reminder: You can start to read to your kids at ANY age. It's fun for the kids and dad. It really is a dad duty!

- George Jacobs, Ph.D. and Wan Loh Inn, Ed.D.

Dr. George Jacobs, Ph.D. and Dr. Wan Loh Inn, Ed.D. are the authors of many books (including "The Read Aloud Guide", textbooks for teachers and students, curriculum guides, and children's storybooks).

Find out more about reading aloud to your kids.


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By Andy,   From Honolulu
This is a great article. My brother read to me when I was a kid, and I remember that very vividly. It's a great way to show you care.

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Article List
Guide for Dads: Final Words – JUST DO IT !
Guide for Dads: Key Points to Remember About Reading Aloud
Guide for Dads: The Technical Side of Book Creation
Guide for Dads: Children Making Their Own Books (Starting from Scratch)
Guide for Dads: Children Making Their Own Books (Starting from Other Books)
Guide for Dads: Why Children Should Be Encouraged to Make Their Own Books
Guide for Dads: Teaching About Language Through Reading Aloud
Children Reading Aloud With Us
Guide for Dads: Getting Children to Comment and Question During Read Aloud
Guide for Dads: Making Predictions are Fun
Guide for Dads: Ask Questions, but Don’t Make Reading Aloud Into a Test
Guide for Dads: Don’t Forget the Illustrations
Guide for Dads: Get a New Book If It’s Not Working, or “Change” the Book

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