Listening to my kids read stories

by beagooddad on April 15, 2009

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I was just replying to a comment that Donna left in my recent post about Pookie’s suddenly leap in reading ability. The comment talked about learning in chunks. I realized that my comment was getting long so decided to make a post out of it.

The learning in chunks is a very real thing for Pookie. It happened with potty training. It happens frequently with new games. And it definitely happens with reading. We’ve been having him read a few pages out loud before bed each night and he just gets more and more confidant each night. Last night was particularly impressive. I have no idea where this kid has been hiding.

I would even say that he is a better out loud reader than Geetle right now. She has a tendency to mumble and skip words/sentences she doesn’t feel like dealing with. Pookie tends to read more clearly (although he does sometimes whisper). Somebody who couldn’t see the words would probably have an easier time following along if Pookie were reading.

Up until a couple days ago, I would have said that Geetle is a much stronger silent reader but I’m not so sure anymore that the gap is as big as it seemed. Maybe Pookie just likes younger themed books. He just finished a “Level 2″ book which is designed for K-1 (multiple sentences covering quite a bit of each page) and plowed through it with very little difficulty. There were several spots where he would read a phrase and then pause to look right at the spot in the picture where that phrase was being shown. I really need to get to the library get a few more books at this reading level and the next.

I’ve also been having Geetle read out loud for a few minutes during the bedtime routine every night, too. I think reading out loud is an excellent activity for her because it is forcing her to slow down and acknowledge all of the words which is helping me explain words that she doesn’t know among a whole page that she generally understands perfectly well.

Reading out loud is also going to be a good school skill for them to learn because kids are frequently called upon to read a paragraph or more out loud during class and if they never practice at home, they will probably have trouble with it in front of all of their friends. I know I’m much better at reading out loud today than I was when Geetle and Pookie were born.

I’ve written in the past about how important it is for dads to read to their kids:

but I’ve just learned how important it is for dads to listen to their kids read, too.

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