Recently I have been working with my son on reading aloud, because his reading test at school shows his reading speed is below average. I am not too concerned about his reading speed, since I know he can read fast when he doesn’t have to read aloud. But I do want to work with him on reading aloud as a way to improve his self-expression and story telling skills.
To do a good job in reading aloud, kids have to learn to coordinate multiple tasks into a smooth process: “read by eyes”, “process information by brain”, and “read out aloud”. My son is good at each single task, but is not so good at putting all tasks together.
What I have been doing is to find short stories for us to read to each other. One book my son has enjoyed is the FREE Aesop for Children from Libray of Congress. They are short and all are good stories. We will each read 1 or 2 stories. Because they are short, I can find time to ask him read the words that he did not pronounce clearly again.
Another thing I just started doing is to listen to professional read children’s books together. One good resource I found is Caldecott Literature Series from New Hampshire Public Television. It has many prefessional read children’s books. While watching the videos, I asked my son to pay attention to the rhythm and intonation, and try to mimic how others reading the book. I try to point out the importance of pause – where and how long do you pause for a comma or a period.
Do you have to work with your child on reading aloud? What would you suggest to use for a school age child? Any tips you would like to share?