Stories have the power to shape our character, ignite our imagination and form a vision for the people we want to become. And story time isn't just for infants and toddlers.
In his book The Read-Aloud Handbook, author Jim Trelease explains that children's listening skills outpace their reading level; they can listen to and understand more advanced books than they can read to themselves. While they may not be much past sounding out "see spot run; run, spot, run," they can enter the adventurous world of Charlotte's Web, if only a willing adult will take the time to read to them.
It's not just about longer, harder-to-pronounce words. It's about more advanced concepts. At 4, our son can barely sound out "tell the truth." But he can listen to The Boy Who Cried Wolf from start to finish.
Even teenagers who can manage more difficult texts still benefit from the relational interaction required for reading aloud. You're never too old to be read to.
As a boy, Robert Coles thought his parents were odd for reading and rereading classic literature aloud to one another. He even asked his dad about it, wondering why anyone would prefer the words on a page to the exciting stories available at the time on the radio. It wasn't until years later that Coles understood his parents' love of those texts was like fondness for old friends; friends they shared.