Shared reading has many benefits, including increasing your child’s interest in books, building the relationship between oral language and printed language, and promoting story comprehension. A recent study suggests that daily shared reading may be more important now than ever before.
A study released in September 2020 utilized data from kindergarteners’ reading scores over summer break to estimate the impact of COVID-19 school closures. Their model estimated that these children may have lost one-third of the reading skills they would have learned in school. The authors did acknowledge that this model does not account for the possible impact of remote learning on reading gains. The good news is, the Boston researchers also found that children who are read to daily during school closures experience less loss of reading skills.
While daily reading sounds simple and easy, the authors also expressed that the level of stress and challenges parents are facing may make daily reading difficult to achieve. The authors suggest having schools send home books, listening to audiobooks, and utilizing library digital resources. Therapists can also do their part by incorporating books into sessions.
Along with reading books at home, below are free online options to incorporate literacy into everyday life.
- This website features many popular children’s books read aloud by celebrities.
- This digital library has thousands of books to read on your computer or mobile device in many languages.
- This resource is only available on mobile devices. It offers a variety of digital storybooks to read along with your child.
Bao, X., Qu, H., Zhang, R., & Hogan, T. (2020). Modeling reading ability gain in kindergarten children during COVID-19 school closures. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176371 [open access]