Hearing Books Improves Kids’ Reading

“The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.” –Becoming a Nation of Readers: The Report of the Commission on Reading

I have been exploring what the experts know about learning to read. One thing I come across again and again is the importance of hearing books read. I greatly encourage you to read to your children. However, I know there are times when you can’t read to your children, so here are some suggestions for those times.

girls wearing headphones with a electronic tabletThe first option is to check out audiobooks. While your child may not have developed the level of reading skills to read these titles, they are capable of understanding and enjoying books like Junie B. Jones or Magic Tree House. Hearing these books can increase their vocabularies and their desire to read more books themselves.

The library has Read-alongs located next to the Early Readers in the Kids Library that include a CD. This way your child can read the book themselves while also listening to it on a CD player. A newer product are the Vox Books, which are very similar to the Read-alongs. The audio is built into Vox Books so your child and hear and read along by pushing the play button. You will find these next to the Read-alongs.

Finally I recommend BookFlix. This is a fun site with pairs of books, one fiction and one non-fiction, on a topic. BookFlix offers 135 pairs in English and 37 in Spanish. After reading the books your child can also do fun activities based on the pair. There are more cool features on this site and you should explore it with your child.

Betty Jean Neal

Betty Jean is a youth librarian who loves sharing her love of reading and knows the importance of books to prepare for the future. “Reading the right sorts of books can prepare one, mentally, for a heck of a lot in this world. I, myself, feel fully prepared to meet an alien, time travel, visit a parallel dimension, find a mermaid in the ocean, live in a world where magic has supplanted technology, and survive the apocalypse….hopefully not ending up in a dystopia." – Spring Lea Henry