Why online Read Alouds are a lifeline for parents

Zara Merali | Published: 2nd July 2021

Our lives are overwhelmingly busy, and the dreaded “to-do lists” seem endless and unachievable.

Calling all Book Adventurers!

Parents can’t always invest as much time as they would like in sharing and exploring a book with their child.  While online Read Alouds should never replace the cherished bonding time of a bedtime story, they do provide an alternative way to fall in love with reading. 

The Book Adventurers Read Alouds are crafted so that they ignite a child’s imagination and expand their horizons. The books explore a wide range of themes and provide a channel to examine difficult issues and emotions.  The listeners are transported to wonderful far-away lands, where they encounter unforgettable characters, and are mesmerized by the magic of a beautifully told story.  

Michael Rosen, the master of storytelling, says: 

 

“Reading books aloud can help children develop key literacy skills and help them develop a love of reading for life. A child’s future is brighter when he or she has a love of reading and plenty of books to read. 

When I read aloud I feel responsible for delivering the story in a way that inspires every child in front of me. I also feel a sense of duty to represent the book in a way the author and illustrator would be proud of too.

We must never forget the power the gift of reading aloud well holds for our young children’s futures”.

The online read aloud offers a unique experience. Creativity and technology combine together to magically bring the book to life.  The scene setting is integral. Background music, props, digital effects, and intriguing backgrounds blend together to make the experience wonderfully vivid and meaningful. The bird’s eye viewpoint, the thought-provoking pauses and the mindful turning of the beautiful pages all instantly captivate the audience. 

Book Adventurers’ Read Alouds are designed to develop the fundamental skills of listening, concentration, hypothesizing, interpreting and analysing. The activities are deeply rooted in the EYFS framework and are designed to develop both the 3 Prime Areas and the 4 Specific Areas of learning and development. 

The presenters allow plenty of time and space for the reader to absorb the book. They gently point out ‘signposts’ to help them navigate their way through the themes and stimulate their thought processes. The young emergent reader is given a model of fluent, expressive reading and is inspired to become a more confident, independent reader of the future.  

There is no escaping the fact that our postmodern children love their gadgets, but the beauty of the online read aloud is that it presents both children and parents with so many choices. It gives a child the autonomy to explore the book at their own pace.

They can pause and rewind and re-visit the book as many times as they choose. The “anytime – any place” factor can be a life-saver, on a long car journey or on an even longer flight. It allows a parent to tend to another sibling or to salvage dinner, with the constant reassurance that the read aloud is so beneficial for a child’s learning and development. 

A child’s language acquisition is a rapid and complex process, and an online read aloud is invaluable in accelerating a child’s language skills. The Read Aloud introduces a fountain of new vocabulary and the rhymes and rhythms of the story enhance the musicality of the language. Children become more confident and creative communicators, as their reading and  language skills go from strength to strength. 

Literacy expert Regie Routman describes reading aloud as an “indispensable first step in reaching and teaching.” 

“It slows us down, relaxes us, reminds us of the joy and inspiration of a well-crafted story. Being read to puts us in the frame of mind for learning and increases literacy achievement,” (Literacy Essentials: Engagement, Excellence, and Equity for All Learners). 

When you sign up to Book Adventurers, your child will also be able to hear from the incredible authors and illustrators. They learn about the wonders of the writing process and the inspiration behind the book. These amazing  “Author Scoops” offer a refreshing dimension and they help to create an even stronger connection to the book.   

I grew up in a home where English was not our mother tongue. My parents were determined for me to excel at school and they wanted me to truly love reading. I personally owe so much to the precious gift of read alouds. Jackanory was my absolute favourite program and it very much became part of our family life. The stories were enchanting and the presenters felt like old family friends. I was captivated by their voices and mesmerized by their every word.  

I know that my parents are very proud that I went on to study English Literature and Drama at University. Most of all, they are thankful for my passion for reading and writing. I am so grateful to my parents for finding an alternative way to bestow on their children the gift of a lifelong love of reading.