Why I (Still) Read Aloud to My Kids, Part 4

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Why do I read aloud to my kids (now ages 11 and 7) when they can—and do—read to themselves?

Reason #3:  For The Conversations

Books make great conversation starters.

Some of these conversations are silly:

Others are more serious. For instance, all kids have had the experience of envying—and being envied by—a friend or sibling. But jealousy can be a more difficult emotion to name and understand than happiness, sadness, or anger. Situations in books can help prompt conversations. Here are a couple that come to mind:

Books can also provide teachable moments. For example, Greg Heffley, the protagonist of the hilarious Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney, often makes bad choices. Some people criticize the series for teaching bad lessons, but I think kids are perfectly able to judge for themselves, for instance, that it’s wrong for Greg to let his best friend take the blame for something he did wrong.

I love it when an episode in a book leads to an interesting conversation with one of my kids. I also treasure the little moments when something in real life reminds my kids of a book we read together.

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