Written by Dr. Fadzidah Ariffin UmmAbdullah (www.knowledgedunes.com)
“Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists).
The above verse is the first Quranic verse revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessing be upon him) by Jibrail in the Cave of Hira. Many studies have shown that reading is a powerful tool in education. It does not only affect the reader’s mind, but it increases one’s status. Allah says (with an English translation), “Allâh will exalt in degree those of you who believe, and those who have been granted knowledge” . With the new era of technology, to make our kids sit and read is a big challenge for many of us, including myself. One of the best ways to teach reading is to read aloud with them. It should be started at an early age as possible. There are many reasons why this process is encouraged in our kids’ development. In honor of World Book Day that we are celebrating on 5th March 2020, we want to share with you four reasons why we should practice read aloud with our kids at bedtime.
1. It helps to improve knowledge retention in the brain
The Learning Pyramid, which was developed by the National Training Laboratory, shows that if a kid reads a book on her/his own quietly, the retention rate for the knowledge received is only 10%. However, if it is being read accompanied by sound, the retention rate increases to 20%. Interestingly, the retention rate for the knowledge gained can go up to 50% if it involves discussion. Discussing the book content can help to retain the knowledge that we shared for both the parents and the kids. This can be done through read-aloud bedtime stories.
2. Calming effect for both parents and kids
What is more enjoyable than relaxing and bonding with our kids, doing something together after a hectic day of working and schooling? We are always being tested by Allah in our life, as a way to strengthen our eeman. It same goes to our kids. Sometimes, they also have their own issues, either with their peers, studies, teachers, and so on. They may not tell us immediately. Being on a bed, reading a book together is an excellent way for us to soothe them and to allow them to relate their issues with us. Sometimes it is associated with the story that we read to them. It also helps them to develop a healthy bedtime routine that is gadget and screen-free to prepare them for a relaxing nighttime sleep.
3. A great way to deliver Islamic knowledge in an informal and relaxing way
Educating Quranic knowledge and hadith to our children is not only confined in the classroom. By read aloud a storybook, even at bedtime, we can link it with simple Quranic verse, hadith, or Islamic advice related to the book. Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When Allah wishes good for a person, He makes him understand the religion.” Let us take this opportunity to share the knowledge of Islam in a relaxing way to our loved ones to increase their understanding of our Deen through the bedtime stories.
4. Read aloud helps to develop kids’ language skills and imaginations.
Reading aloud with kids is a popular and essential tool in helping to develop their language skills. Study shows that the more they are exposed to books through reading aloud by parents or adult caregiver, the more vocabularies they gained and understand at a later age. It also helps to improve their imaginations and cognitive skills. When kids are read to, they can easily imagine the story in their minds. It is better when we practice this at bedtime, as they are relaxing, attentive, and not distracted.
For those who have been practicing this, congratulations!. For those who have not, don’t worry. It is not too late to read a book aloud with your kids at bedtime. Let us start this today, make reading aloud together with our kids at night, our bedtime routine. All the best!!!
This article is part of a blog hop for World Book Day – Enjoy reading the book reviews by other bloggers.
Bibliography (for the above article):
 al-‘Alaq 96:1
 al-Mujaadilah 58:11
 Mutafaq Alaih
 Bardige, B. Talk to Me, Baby!(2009), Paul H Brookes Pub Co.