Why Read to Older Children?

Parents are frequently the focus of media and academic reports linking academic success or failure to a child’s home life. This is particularly true in debates on learning literacy.

Scholastic recently published the seventh edition of Kids And Family Reading Report which made the case that parents should continue reading aloud to children beyond the early years, with researchers showing a rapid decline after a child turned 9.

managing the message

The message is clear and it’s supported by other research like J. K. Marchessault’s & K. H. Larwin’s (2013), whose study of reading aloud in middle school (11-14-year olds) shows how it “can impact student success, specifically in the areas of vocabulary and comprehension development.”

A more recent study (2018) focused squarely on parental attitudes toward the practice, examined the duration of and barriers to reading sessions. It concluded that while parental attitudes were generally positive, not all parents “had equal circumstances and opportunities to provide an enjoyable reading aloud experience at home.” Despite this, the evidence showed that parents who read aloud to older children strongly supported their literacy development.

I’m sure it’s no news for parents that making the time and effort to read to their older children is challenging. According to Scholastic’s report, they may even think it unnecessary as older children grow more independent in reading skills. In any case, the idea is not to turn mothers and fathers into ‘helicopter parents’, hovering around budding independent readers. But the research shows that parents who share their love of reading help their children significantly.

Keeping up with your kids

With time and effort in mind, at Red Wool Editions we believe that parents should look to creative solutions that make for smoother home life. That means sharing reading experiences which parents and children both enjoy. But how should parents keep up with the latest books which children access through schools, the target of every book publisher globally?

A simple solution is to search Children’s and Teens and Young Adults categories on a number of booksellers and publisher websites. When we’re researching titles, we start with these to orientate us on popular trends:



With over 7, 000, 000 titles in its Book Store and nearly 3, 000,000 in the Kindle Store, Amazon cannot be ignored as a search engine.


Amazon also hosts Goodreads, a social cataloguing website that allows individuals to freely search its database of books, annotations, and reviews. Users can sign up and register books to generate library catalogues and reading lists. They can also create their own groups of book suggestions, surveys, polls, blogs, and discussions.

Book reviewers

The Children’s Book Review

A resource devoted to Children’s Literature And Literacy. The website publishes reviews and book lists for children of all ages. They also produce author and illustrator interviews and share literacy based articles aimed at parents, grandparents and teachers.

Good Reading Magazine

 A monthly print and online publication dedicated to finding Aussie and New Zealand readers great books.

We’ll bring the research to you so you remain in the conversation

Parents don’t usually have the time to look for and read the latest research. Nonetheless, as a parent, I hated not having access to good information due to my busy life. So, we will source and post articles and reports which we related to reading and parenting. I know from experience that even a quick scan of the material or reading the topic sentences is far better than being uninformed.

Here are the key references we cited in this blog

Ledger, S., & Merga, M. K. (2018). Reading Aloud: Children’s Attitudes toward being Read to at Home and at School. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 43(3). http://dx.doi.org/10.14221/ajte.2018v43n3.8
Marchessault, J. K., & Larwin, K. H. (January 01, 2013). Structured Read-Aloud in Middle School: The Potential Impact on Reading Achievement. Contemporary Issues in Education Research, 6, 2, 241-246.
Merga, M. K., & Ledger, S. (October 01, 2018). Parents’ views on reading aloud to their children: Beyond the early years. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, The, 41, 3, 177-189.
Scholastic Inc., Scholastic Inc., & YouGov. (2018). Kids & Family Reading Report”. 7th Edition.

Let us bring you great information about reading with older children

In the course of our work, we come across information by academics, teachers and psychologists on best practices for reading with older children. Let us be your eyes and ear for the most crucial information for parents.

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