Why is reading aloud important?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 33,196
    Parenting educator Dr. Rene Hackney talks about reading aloud.

    Rene Hackney

    Originally a full-time preschool teacher, Dr. Rene Hackney now holds a Master?s in school psychology and a PhD. in developmental psychology from George Mason University. She trained at the Developmental Clinic at Children?s National Medical Center and for the public schools, teaching in parenting programs at each. She has also acted as a consultant to several area preschools.

    For the last four years, Dr. Hackney has owned and lectured for Parenting Playgroups, Inc, a parenting resource center and preschool classroom in Alexandria Virginia. She has offered workshops to a wide

    range of parent, teacher and social work groups during this time.

    Workshop topics include eight hours on positive discipline techniques, five hours on early academic issues and common issues such as sibling rivalry and potty training. All workshops provide well researched lecture, in-class practice and open discussion time. Additionally she hosts a monthly parenting focused book club and fun play programs to introduce the preschool setting to young families.

    Dr. Hackney is married and has two young children of her own.

    Host: Why is reading aloud important?

    Rene Hackney: The department of education says that reading aloud to young children is the single most important factor and then becoming later good readers. That children who are read to aloud everyday, they tend to enjoy reading and being read to until they choose reading as an activity. They will be more likely to enjoy reading on their own. It also builds a really good sense of vocabulary for young children. Children who are read to aloud tend to have better vocabulary than children who are not and this is actually throughout the ages. So, the idea is that children who are read to aloud through high school have better vocabulary and better verbal skills than children who are read to aloud through middle school, through middle school better than through second grade, so the idea is the longer you can read aloud, the better. I know that seems uncomfortable to many parents, they can imagine reading aloud to a high scholar but the idea is that if you continue to have it a daily activity, if children just assume it part of their day, it may stretch on and last a bit longer. We have had many families say they get really creative as children get older. They may take turns reading aloud to each other. We have had a family that read plays aloud, so that their reading aloud, but it is more interactive, but the idea is just to encourage as your children love to read.