Tips for At-Home Read Alouds

Father reading with daughter
Tips for Read-Aloud at Home

Montgomery Township Schools


Research in the field of reading is dramatically clear on one point.  Reading aloud to children is the single most important thing a parent can do to ensure reading success. A good read-aloud session includes the reading of a good story and some quality talk about the story.  The following suggestions are meant to help parents generate a dialogue with their children about the books they read together.




  • Read-aloud to your child at least once a day.
  • Set aside regular reading times.
  • Share in the choice of books. Allow your child to choose sometimes, while you choose a favorite at other times.
  • Read with enthusiasm. Enjoy yourself.
  • Occasionally choose books that are “over the head” of your child. Listening comprehension is much more developed in young learners than reading comprehension.  More difficult books create an intellectual challenge.
  • Don’t read above a child’s emotional level. Really scary books are not good choices for young children.
  • Fathers must make an extra effort to do some of the read-alouds.
  • Keep reading to your child even after the child has become a fluent reader.




Before Reading –

  1. Look at the title, cover pictures, title page.
  2. Encourage your child to make predictions. What might the story be about? What might happen in the story?


During Reading –

  1. Stop occasionally to check predictions. Is this what you thought would happen?  Do we need to change our predictions? What new predictions can we make?
  2. Don’t forget to talk about the pictures. In picture books, illustrations play a central role in telling the story.  Talk about the illustrator’s style, the detail, the use of color.
  3. Discuss meanings and connotations of unfamiliar words.


After Reading –

  1. Ask questions that invite your child to talk. Avoid yes/no and one word answer questions.
  2. Ask for feeling responses. How did the story make you feel? What did the story make you think about? What was your favorite part of the story?
  3. Talk about the characters in the story. Talk about the major events.  Compare characters to people you know.  Compare events to things that have happened in your life.
  4. Compare the story to other books you have read or movies or TV shows you have seen together.


Finally, listen to your child and respond to questions in a caring and genuine way. Enjoy read-aloud time.  It can be among the most rewarding family experiences.