Mem Fox is one of Australia's most beloved children's book authors. She is an advocate for reading aloud to children before they go to school. In fact, Mem says "If kids are not read to between the ages of 0 to 5, they will not be able to learn to read quickly and happily. Every parent ought to show their children how much they love them by spending at least 10 minutes a day reading to them—which is three picture books, or the same book three times."
She is passionate about continuing to read aloud to children even after they can read for themselves because you can introduce them to higher level books and initiate quality talking and listening to grow and develop your child's vocabulary and as an added bonus, their imagination!
Her 10 commandments of reading aloud are simple and brilliant and, I believe, so true.
Ten read-aloud commandments
Mem Fox’s Ten Read Aloud Commandments
1. Spend at least ten wildly happy minutes every single day reading aloud.
2. Read at least three stories a day: it may be the same story three times. Children need to hear a thousand stories before they can begin to learn to read.
3. Read aloud with animation. Listen to your own voice and don’t be dull, or flat, or boring. Hang loose and be loud, have fun and laugh a lot.
4. Read with joy and enjoyment: real enjoyment for yourself and great joy for the listeners.
5. Read the stories that the kids love, over and over and over again, and always read in the same ‘tune’ for each book: i.e. with the same intonations on each page, each time.
6. Let children hear lots of language by talking to them constantly about the pictures, or anything else connected to the book; or sing any old song that you can remember; or say nursery rhymes in a bouncy way; or be noisy together doing clapping games.
7. Look for rhyme, rhythm or repetition in books for young children, and make sure the books are really short.
8. Play games with the things that you and the child can see on the page, such as letting kids finish rhymes, and finding the letters that start the child’s name and yours, remembering that it’s never work, it’s always a fabulous game.
9. Never ever teach reading, or get tense around books.
10. Please read aloud every day, mums and dads, because you just love being with your child, not because it’s the right thing to do.
Here is a link to Mem reading aloud some of her classic books. Enjoy :)