Sunday, December 16, 2012

When Dad Reads Aloud

One of the many many things that I love about my husband is that he is dedicated to reading aloud to our son.  Truth be told, some weeks he reads aloud to him more than I do!  While I must admit I've never been able to convince my husband to read The Read Aloud Handbook (my all time favorite book on reading aloud to children!) he's a natural when it comes to reading to our son.  Being that our first born is a son I feel like it is extra important that his dad reads aloud to him and that he sees his dad read for pleasure.  In The Read Aloud Handbook author Jim Trelease devotes a special section to trying to convince dads that's it's important.  In referring to the increasing academic achievement of girls and decreasing academic achievement of boys Trelease says this, "The impact on the young male of seeing his dad worshipping daily and nightly at the alter of ESPN, has to have played a damaging role in male attitudes about school.  Girls read and write; guys hit, throw, catch, shoot, and fish."  A bit further on in the same section Trelease lays out some startling (and simple) facts about the impact dads who read can have on their sons.  (The following statistics come from a study conducted in Modesto, California.)
  1. Boys who were read to by their fathers scored significant higher in reading achievement.
  2. When fathers read recreational, their sons read more and scored higher than boys whose fathers did little or no recreational reading.
There are so many parents who are desperate to increase their child's academic achievement.  These parents will shell out thousands of dollars for after-school tutoring programs, summer enrichment programs, online activities designed to increase achievement, but the answer for many children is much more simple and far less expensive...SPEND TIME READING TO YOUR CHILD!

Knowing how important it is that my husband reads aloud to our son I'm so very grateful that he's a natural and that it's something he enjoys doing with our son.  I hope that the time the two boys spend reading aloud now is the beginning of a long and rich tradition of reading aloud in our house.

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