Jim Trelease, author and advocate of reading aloud to children, cites that children's reading comprehension can be as many as three years beyond their independent reading ability. This in itself is a compelling reason to keep reading to your child! Jim (a Jamestown NY native) has a tremendous website at http://www.trelease-on-reading.com/rah-contents.html and I highly value his book The Read Aloud Handbook which is now in its seventh revision to include recommended current books. His website states it is proven that test scores overall increase among students whose parents read to them. Reading vocabulary, speaking vocabulary and writing vocabulary all increase dramatically.
The Scholastic study shows that 23%of parents of children ages 6-17 stopped reading to their children before age 9, often citing their child's independent reading as the reason. And yet, 40% of all children ages 6-11 said they wished their parents still read aloud to them. This emotional connection, the "snuggling" and "cuddling" was expressed among the children as something they missed in their lives. Eight in ten children ages 6-17 spoke of the special time of reading with their parents. Reading aloud well into the teenage years provides conversation starters for many problems children face outside of the home--a way to initiate conversation regarding the child's struggles outside of the home. Books/stories can teach compassion, awareness, and provide for positive modeling for children. Reading aloud with expression brings out the child In the parent at times, creating laughter and closeness on a lighthearted level. Humor and laughter is good for all family relationships! As one child stated in the study "Lots of times I just don't feel like reading, but want a story to be read to me instead. I like being close to my mom and dad when they read to me. It's easier to fall asleep."