As the outdoor temperature drops and the weather changes, it’s time for the indoor fun. Faced with hours in the house, parents are often on the hunt for activities that provide entertainment and some educational value. Arts and crafts, baking, and board games are great choices in this regard. But if you haven’t already tried audiobooks and read-aloud, you may be in for a new treat!
Listening to stories together is a fun way to pass the time, while bonding over a shared experience. What’s more, this activity also prompts family members to visualise what they are hearing—the key to strong comprehension.
In this short video, we describe how to make the most of audiobooks and family read-aloud time; we give specific tips for helping your child understand stories better, whether it’s an indoor day or not!
Story Time Develops Reading Comprehension
Many families stop reading aloud when children can decode independently. However, it’s during this time that your child develops reading comprehension skills. Story time gives you the opportunity to ask what the story was about, or what she thinks will happen next, or how she would end the story differently. This is the time to confirm that your child is reading for meaning. By choosing books that are slightly above your child’s decoding skill level, you’ll continue to expose them to new words to add to their vocabulary.
If an individual has difficulty comprehending language—reading about their favourite activity or listening to audiobooks may not be enjoyable or even beneficial. They may not understand what they are listening to and may be only getting “parts” and not the whole of the story. If this is the case, they aren’t just bored or inattentive.
For many students, a cause of comprehension difficulties is weak concept imagery—the ability to create an imagined gestalt (whole) from language. The development of concept imagery improves reading and listening comprehension, memory, oral vocabulary, critical thinking, and writing.
Family story time can be an opportunity to develop the imagery-language connection as a foundation for your child’s learning skills. However, if you have any concerns about your child’s ability to understand stories, we’re here to help. Contact us for ideas at one of our centres: Double Bay (02) 9328 7119 | Chatswood (02) 9410 1006 | Melbourne (03) 9815 2949