I’m a bookworm. I have always had my nose stuck in a book. I learned early that a good book could take me to a foreign land full of adventure. A good book could take me out of rural Arkansas and place me on the prairie in the 1800s. A week later I could be the queen of England during the War of the Roses. Books are amazing. I have learned so much just from reading. Everything from cooking and cleaning to being a better wife has come from my insatiable thirst for knowledge through the written word.
I want my children to love reading like I do. I want them to know that they can learn anything if they just read. They can have adventures and experience mysteries just by reading a book. I started reading to my oldest before he was born. I would read children’s books to him while he was still kicking around inside of me.
While I love reading simple children’s stories to my young babes, I have recently discovered I can also read them longer, chapter books. You may think preschoolers don’t have the attention span for chapter books. I will say getting them to sit still and be captivated by a chapter book is unlikely, but they are listening even if their little bodies are moving. Here are a few reasons to read chapter books aloud to preschoolers.
Chapter books help them develop the habit of attention.
I let my children draw, build block towers, and play while I read chapter books aloud to them. Sometimes I think they aren’t listening to me, but then I will hear them say something I just read. Over time they will start listening more and more and their habit of attention will develop with each new chapter you read.
Chapter books build imagination.
When you read chapter books to children they are forced to form their own pictures. They will appreciate the written word and will learn earlier that their imaginations are greater than any movie or TV show. I mean, how many times have you been disappointed after watching a movie made after one of your favorite novels?
Chapter books will broaden your child’s language.
Read good words to your children and they will speak good words. I don’t know how many times I have been shocked by the vocabulary of my two older kids. I will say, “Can you believe he just said that? That doesn’t sound like a five year old?” Just start reading great literature to your children and you will hear what I’m talking about.
Chapter books will help teach your children patience.
You can’t sit and read a chapter book all the way through with your kids. You will have to stop at some point and you will usually leave your children hanging on to the edge of their seats with excitement!
Chapter books bring families together and make memories.
There is nothing like hearing your child say, “Read a story to me!” I love it! Now that Luke is home he has started reading to them before they go to bed. They all get cuddled up in my daughter’s room and sit and read these awesome stories from an Irish book my husband brought back from Ireland on his way home from Afghanistan. They are making memories. I love sitting in the living room while my kids play and I read a chapter or two from Little House in the Big Woods. Reading aloud has become a natural part of our lives and it’s pretty awesome!
Tomorrow I will share my top 10 chapter book read-alouds for preschoolers. Do you read chapter books to your children?
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