Studies have shown that when parents read out loud to their children, the child’s reading skills improve greatly. Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of these read alouds:

Go beyond simply reading

Involve your child in the process—if they are young, ask what colors appear on the page. Ask them to find certain things in the picture. If they are older, have them use their “pointer” fingers to follow along with you.

Allow your child to choose the book

This helps the child feel included—and it will be a story they will want to hear. Even if it is the same story you have read to them one hundred times—it will keep your child engaged.

Preview book with your child before you start reading

Do a “picture walk” with your child. Look at the cover. The illustrations. The chapter titles, if it’s a longer book. This will help with your child’s reading comprehension. Ask questions about the book. A few examples could be: “What do you think this story will be about?” “Who is the main character in this story?” “Do you think this will be a happy story or sad story?”

Ask questions while you read

Stop at certain parts to ask your child what will happen next. This helps review their comprehension skills, and builds their reasoning skills. It also involves the child in the reading process, making them as much a part of the read aloud time as you are.

Reading out loud shouldn’t end after your child learns to read

For beginning readers, they still need practice. Reading out loud with them helps them hear the words and learn new vocabulary. For independent readers and teens, they may not want to sit down and read a novel with you, but you can still take an interest in what they are reading. Read the same books they are reading, which can allow for discussion and analysis.

Parents who develop strong reading habits pass those habits onto their child. At Learning Ascent, we take pride in knowing classic and contemporary children’s and young adult stories, so we may more effectively tutor our students in the Fox Valley area.


Since 2002, the professional tutors at Learning Ascent in St Charles, IL have provided tutoring and ACT prep, helping thousands of students from Batavia, IL; Geneva, IL; South Elgin, IL; and other Fox Valley towns to improve their academic performance.

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