Does your child have a favorite book they want to read over and over again? Or worse, wants you to read over and over again? I bet you’ve memorized every word. You loved its adorable illustrations and clever text when you first brought it home, but now you’ve grown to hate it. You might even wish it would disappear forever. Despite its annoyances, repetitive reading — whether you’re reading to your child or they’re reading to you — offers a surprising number of benefits . Few of which are:
- Vocabulary and word recognition
- Phonemic Awareness
- Pattern and Rhythm
But neither of this makes this topic qualified enough to be discussed here. Discussing it here because it has many more “sensitive but subtle” benefits attached to it.
Hearing the same story again and again, the unchanging nature feels safe and secure. The words, pictures and even the expression of the reader is predictable and comforting to children. Familiar books are like old friends. They are quite predictable and the predictability gives security and comfort.
Each time it is re-read, the child can focus on a different aspect of the book because he knows the story. He can enjoy the illustrations, concentrate on the words used, ask new questions, you can ask new questions.
For children, re-reading is a kind of meditation. They know that they are in a known place and with someone they are most comfortable with (reader i.e You). All they have to do is to flow!!
When we reread books together, our conversations around them get richer and richer. Our understanding deepens as we get to know the characters better and notice new things in the story. The focus shifts from understanding what is happening in the story to big ideas around author’s message and theme. Researchers found that children’s responses to questions during rereading grow in variety and complexity. They are able to make more associations, judgements and elaborative comments. They make an effort to know the world better.
As your child grows older, he’ll be on the move—playing, running, and constantly exploring his environment. Snuggling up with a book lets the two of you slow down and recaptures that sweet, cuddly time you enjoyed when he was a baby. Instead of being seen as a chore or a task, reading will become a nurturing activity that will bring the two of you closer together. And, your bed time becomes the best time.
The same is true for us adults too. Reading a book at 40 will have a different meaning to you as compared to your reading the same book at 20, simply because you evolved a lot in these 2 decades. It’s a way of visiting our earlier self.
“To reread a book is to read a different book. The reader is different. The meaning is different.”
Also Read: 5 Benefits of Reading Aloud To Your Kids
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