The other night I was speaking to a gym full of parents about the differences between Read Alouds and Home Reading (and the importance of both). I explained that Read Alouds enable parents and teachers to expose children to books that they may not yet be able to read on their own. What’s more, they provide an opportunity for children to find joy in the experience of reading. Beverly Cleary once said, “Children should learn that reading is a pleasure, not just something that teachers make you do in school.”
Reading aloud–at home and at school–can certainly help children find joy in reading. Daniel Pennac says, “A teacher who reads out loud lifts you to the level of books. He gives you the gift of reading!”
Pennac describes two potential student fears connected to reading: the fear of not understanding and the fear of length. These fears often lead to reluctance and avoidance. Thankfully, by reading out loud, we can nurture a love of reading, taming and tackling student fears.