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How Reading Out Loud Helps Develop Comprehension And Confidence

 By Vera Marie Reed

Special to the Washington Family Engagement Trust


As a family, watching your children grow, and learn new things, can be a great moment in your lives together.  Of course, one of those moments comes when your child learns to read new words.  But, as you’ll see, reading out loud with your child can also help them comprehend what they are reading, and assist them with their confidence.


In fact, there are several reasons to read out loud with your children.  For one thing, it helps with your child’s fluency.  We’ve all heard the saying “practice makes perfect”, and it’s true.  The more practice a child has with reading, the higher their ability to recognize words automatically.

It also strengthens comprehension.  When children read orally, they more-readily understand the meaning of the material.  Fluency, and comprehension, will eventually increase their knowledge. The meanings of, and the lessons from, what they read will also increase their knowledge of the world around them.

As they grow, they will be able to develop critical reading skills.  Thus, they will also be able to decide what to read, and what kind of emotions should be evoked from the text.  As they understand the meaning of each book, poem, and other literature, they can figure out how to read them orally, and discuss them later.

Vocabulary and Pleasure

Another lesson that children will learn is how each word fits into their vocabulary.  Exploring different words, their definitions, and where they come from, can be an exciting adventure for your children to learn about.  Once they understand that different words in our language are based from different cultures, it may inspire them to explore new worlds. 

It will also inspire them to start reading on their own, and not just for the classroom.  Reading for pleasure will allow them to pick their own books, and express themselves.  Doing this will heighten their interest in other books in their chosen genre.

Reading In Your Native Language

Even if your native language is something other than English, reading out loud with your children will lay the groundwork for learning to read in EnglishYour child will learn new concepts, and increase his or knowledge of books.  According to research done, a child who learns to read in one language will be able to apply the same concepts when reading in a new language.

History through Stories

If your child is interested in learning about certain school subjects, like history, you can make it a fun lesson for them by reading stories about the past out loud.  You can teach them the story of people, events, and the record of previous times, which all led to who we are today.  By placing these facts into a story that they can relate to, they will be more able to understand the historical figures, and events, that shaped us.

A perfect example comes from the show “Hamilton”.  Not only has it won several awards, and other accolades.  It has also heightened many people’s interest in history.  But, even if you can’t get tickets to see the production, you can get children’s history books, and create your own scenarios at home.  By reading out loud about the stories involving Hamilton, and that era, children will relate to them better.

Other Suggestions

There are many other methods that you can use to help children develop their reading comprehension, and confidence.  First, you can make a connection to something, or someone, your child already knows.  They can equate stories to many historical figures such as Hamilton.  However, if they read about a familiar location, it will breathe new life into its meaning.  The kids can learn about historical landmarks, and other things they already know something about.

You may also want to ask questions based on what you both read together.  Natural curiosity may set in, and both of you should feel comfortable asking each other questions about the material.  Doing so heightens the learning experience, and allows him or her to challenge what was just read.


Reading can be a fun learning experience for your child.  It can help them comprehend the meaning of what they read, and will increase their confidence in challenging things they may disagree with.  However, the confidence that grows from reading out loud will assist them in many ways throughout life.


Vera Marie Reed is freelance writer living in Glendale, California. This mother of two specializes in education and parenting content. When she’s not delivering expert advice, you can find her reading, writing, arts, going to museums and doing craft projects with her children.





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