According to a new report released on January 8 by Scholastic, the children’s book publisher, reading aloud through elementary school is connected to a love of reading generally. In the survey of just over 1,000 children ages 6 to 17, there were some consistent patterns among frequent readers. For the younger children — ages 6 to 11 — being read aloud to regularly and having restricted online time were correlated with frequent reading.
“A lot of parents assume that once kids begin to read independently, that now that is the best thing for them to do,” said Maggie McGuire, the vice president for a website for parents operated by Scholastic. However, the report supports the idea of continuing to read aloud to children through the elementary school years.
Some literacy experts state that when parents or teachers read aloud to children even after they can read themselves, the children can hear more complex words or stories than they might tackle themselves. Last summer, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced a new policy recommending that all parents read to their children from birth.