Beyond Picture Books

By: DFB Staff Writer

Unsurprisingly, the entire staff of DFB are fanatical readers and ferocious literacy advocates (all right, maybe not ferocious, but we get pretty close sometimes). The staff of DFB are also committed to the idea that once children leave year/grade 1, reading aloud to them shouldn’t stop. Even when children reach years 4,5 and 6, being read aloud to should still be a wonderous event that happens every day.

We’re sure you know the data and research that support and validate the need for children to be read aloud to, but we’re going to do a quick recap here because we know that teachers (and parents) have so many external pressures competing for their time that sometimes (only sometimes, right?) the read aloud gets pushed aside, delayed, forgotten about and – ya illaahi – abandoned. So this little recap is our way of gently nudging parents and teachers to pick up a book and step back into the fantastic world of reading aloud because our youth need it. Okay, let’s jump in. What benefits do elementary grade students reap from being read aloud to every single day? Reading aloud to students:

  • Motivates them to read independently
  • Increases their vocabulary
  • Gives them access to words that are above their grade level
  • Lays the foundation for success in every other academic subject (including art)
  • Leads to improvements in children’s writing
  • Teaches empathy, compassion and understanding
  • Reduces stress
  • Helps improve students’ ability to concentrate, focus & stay on task
  • Helps student improve students’ classroom behaviour
  • Helps children navigate the choppy waters of childhood
  • Gives children the chance to listen to and enjoy a story without the stress of trying to decode words while they’re struggling to understand the story
  • Builds and strengths the bond between parent and child and teacher and child. And saving the best for last, reading aloud to children
  • Connects them to the blessed people whom they should strive to emulate (i.e., the prophet, the sahabahand the scholars of this deen) and it
  • Teaches them about and connects them to their Lord subhanahu wa ta’ala.

If you teach, don’t compromise, read aloud to your students every single day. If you are a parent, do the same. Even if your child’s teacher reads aloud to your child’s class, read aloud to your child every day, too. But don’t panic: reading aloud can be a 1-minute reading of a menu, a set of instructions for a project your child is working on, a snippet about one of the prophets or sahabah. Of course, we strongly support and suggest reading aloud to children each night before they go to bed and if you can manage that (please manage that), your child will be the richer inshaallaah.

So, now that we’ve re-visited the benefits of reading aloud to elementary aged children, we’ll make our next stop a quick discussion about how to make read aloud time successful inshaallaah. But don’t let that prevent you from reading aloud to your students or child today, tonight, now; just visit again soon to check out our next article about how your read aloud time can be made more beneficial to the child you’re reading aloud to.


Enjoy your book and we’ll see you soon inshaallaah!



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