Between 2011 and 2015 the number of American adults who didn’t read a book in the course of a single year went from 1 in 5 to fewer than 1 in 4. And if fewer American adults are reading, chances are that fewer American children are being read to as well.

Such a scenario is unfortunate, for research has shown that reading aloud to children provides them with many developmental benefits such as a broadened vocabulary.

However, the benefits of reading aloud to children go beyond an extensive vocabulary.

In his pocket-sized book of 400 classic books to read to children, author Nathaniel Bluedorn lists several additional benefits that parents who read aloud give to their children. Five of them are below:

1. Stories broaden horizons.

2. Good books teach character.

3. Reading teaches writing.

4. Stories teach history.

5. Reading aloud builds family bonds.

These points are especially worth considering in light of the headlines which populate our current culture. One wonders if more parent-child reading sessions would reduce the chaos and disrespect seen in today’s schools; if the introduction to high-quality and historical literature in the home would raise student writing and history proficiency beyond their current levels of 27% and 12% respectively; if we would we see a decrease in the number of broken homes if more families made reading aloud a priority.

Interested in reading aloud with your family, but unsure of what books to start with? Check out Nathaniel Bluedorn’s Hand that Rocks the Cradle. Its pocket-sized nature, brief descriptions, and symbols denoting age level, publication date, and geographical and historical setting make it the perfect companion for library trips or online book hunts.

Don’t let your child grow up to be another statistic in the non-reading adult population of America.

Image Credit: Sean Dreilinger