Young children learn much when books are read aloud to them. From birth they learn about language, whether in Spanish, English, or another language.
As children grow, the more they are read to and read aloud themselves, they will learn how to write and spell. Later, they can master reading and writing at an earlier age. Students who have been read to and who can read at early ages achieve higher grades in language arts and higher scores on standardized tests.
Reading stories aloud to children helps them learn empathy for others, to see other sides to a situation. They may feel what the main character is going through (whether person or animal), be it fear, anger, or humility. Depending on the story, children can learn life lessons, like how to ask for forgiveness or how to share what they own with others.
Reading stories to children also provides opportunities for them to discover persons not in their immediate environment, for example the elderly or people from a different ethnic background or social status.
Through books, children can travel to far away lands, learn about life in the jungle or on a cattle ranch. Books about a different culture teach children what is considered proper or appropriate behavior for that culture. They also might learn about another culture's holiday celebrations or the different games children play in other countries.
When reading aloud fairy tales or modern fantasy, children learn how to use their imagination, to view their world from a heightened perspective.
Finally, to assure your children a better future, visit a public library to select some books—and read aloud to your children.