Does your child have a favourite book they just want you to read to them over and over and over again? You probably know every word off by heart by now – and so does your child…That initial love you felt for the cute illustrations when you first brought it home, has long since vanished. Maybe you even wish it would mysteriously disappear… But before you “lose” this book, you may want to reconsider. Despite how tedious it can be for you, repetitive reading — whether you’re reading to your child or they’re reading to you — offers a surprising number of benefits for new readers.
Vocabulary and Word Recognition
The more a child reads, the larger their vocabulary becomes. When a child reads or hears the same book multiple times, they become familiar and comfortable with a greater number of words. That text you’ve memorized? Chances are your child has too, and that’s a good thing. This makes them more confident to use the words every day.
Pattern and Rhythm
Hearing favourite stories read aloud helps children become aware of the pattern and rhythm of text. Language is more than just words — it’s how words sound and connect to each other. It’s the emotion with which words are expressed that makes language useful. Parents can model the rhythms of reading for children who are just learning how language works.
Fluency is the ability to read text “accurately, quickly, and with expression.” Repetitive reading allows a child to read without stumbling or stopping, and reading time becomes more pleasant for everyone. Once a child masters one book, it makes moving on to another more appealing.
Reading comprehension is the ability to understand all the components of a story — from plot to character development to symbolism. Comprehension is “the essence” of reading. Each time your child reads or hears a book read to them, they learn more about the story itself. Each pass through the text or illustrations allows them to dive deeper into the story’s meaning, preparing them for more complex narratives down the road.
With fluency and comprehension comes greater reading confidence. Children who can follow a story and don’t stumble over words are more self-assured about their abilities and more likely to enjoy reading.
Knowing that repetitive reading is good for your children may not make reading that book for the thousandth time any easier, but maybe it’ll help you stay sane while you do it 🙂