Reading aloud is such an important aspect in teaching children to read. As children hear words and see them they begin to associate the 'picture' of the word with what they are hearing, they will eventually begin to associate the different sounds with the letters.
How many of you have ever read to a young child and had the light up because they could 'read it' to you? Imagine how many of the hundreds of times that you read the book you frustrated because you read it so many times before... Each and every one of those times your child was picking up bits and pieces of the book and over time he/she was able to recite it to you. Yes, children can repeat a story long before they can actually read, this is one important reason you should consider reading to your child at least once a day.
Reading is dear to my heart; not only enjoying books myself but reading them to a variety of children. I started babysitting when I was 12 and took a variety of books to read to them each time. During college I started collecting my own books and now have over 1,700!! Honestly, I have lost count and no longer put them into my computer - there are just too many!! I pick them up at yard sales, thrift stores, Scholastic orders, and new from book stores. I rarely get them from book stores as they are expensive and since many of my books go to my classroom they get a lot of wear and tear. I would rather pay a cheaper price and not feel bad if something happens to them.
Recently, my quest for books has changed - I am now looking for board books, soft books, and books geared toward young children (such as Goodnight Moon). I have recently acquired The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson and illustrated by Beth Krommes. The fact that this book is a Caldecott Medal Winner and has simple text I was quickly drawn to it, this is one that I plan on reading to my little one very soon.
The one thing I struggle with it: when should you start reading aloud to your child? I had always said I would start as soon as I knew I was pregnant. However, once I was pregnant it seemed silly for me to read when the baby couldn't even hear me. I did read one book, Guess How Much I Love You? by Sam McBratney in which a little rabbit keeps telling the big rabbit how much love he has but the big rabbit always comes back loving it more. I like to think that the little baby truly loved the book but am not sure it heaerd a word. Maybe now at 16 weeks would be a better time to try...
Either way I am comforted in knowing that my baby hears me read to my students 5 days a week and heaers me talk all of the time.