Benefits of Children Re-reading the Same Book

Benefits of Children Re-reading the Same Book
8 Benefits to Reading With Children Every Day

Benefits of Children Re-reading the
Same Picture Book

In childhood, “as we become accustomed to a world in which change is the only real constant, the familiarity of the book at bedtime is something to cling to.” – Sarah Seltzer
 
Does your child repeatedly read the same books over and over again? In my role as a teacher and librarian, I have met many parents who despair at their child repeatedly choosing the same book to read. They start to dread storytime because they cannot read that book one more time! They wanted advice on how they could encourage their children to switch up their reading. My response wasn’t always what parents wanted to hear! There are many benefits to repeated reading, particularly for young children learning to read.

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Increased Vocabulary

Increased vocabulary aids comprehension. So it makes sense that increased exposure to reading increases vocabulary. However, when a child rereads the same text, they memorise more than when exposed to many new words. The key to learning new vocabulary is through familiarity with those words. Research with 3-year-olds shows those who repeatedly read the same book increased their vocabulary more than those who read a variety of books. Not that the children with the choice of text didn’t improve, they did, but the increase was not as great as those with multiple exposures to the same text.

Phonemic Awareness

Repeated reading strengthens an understanding of the pattern, rhythm and pronunciation of text. Developing a deeper understanding of phonemic awareness involves identifying, hearing and manipulating separate sounds in words, an important early stage of learning to read. Reading aloud promotes the connection between the correct pronunciation and spelling. This will only grow through the exposure to the same vocabulary.

Comprehension

Repeated reading provides an opportunity to develop a deep understanding of a book’s plot or character development something not possible reading a book once. Exploring the text and illustrations helps children delve into the story’s message and make new connections, preparing them for more complex narratives. Rereading provides an opportunity to answer more complex and elaborative questions and offer judgements and opinions.

Confidence

Memorisation is important to developing increased vocabulary, reading fluency and accuracy. Reading a book without pausing or waiting for an adult to reveal an unknown word is confidence boosting. Often, when a child gets to this point, they will move onto new books with new challenges. Remember, greater confidence develops into a lifelong love of reading.
 
Rereading books without judgement helps children further develop their reading skills, vocabulary and confidence, even if it is frustrating for you!

What About Older Children?​

Interestingly, research shows repeated reading doesn’t benefit secondary aged students. It claims “secondary pupils are falling behind in their reading because they are not moving on from writers they first met in primary school.” However, Andrew McCallum argues in The Guardian the research is missing the point of what reading is about. He argues for the benefits of older children rereading their favourite books.

Resources to Choose a New Book​

Now we know the benefits of repeated reading it shouldn’t stop us from encouraging children to explore new authors and genres. Below are websites you can use with your children to explore new options. All you have to do is type in the name of a loved book or author and review the suggestions. Some of these sites are more suitable for older children or even adults so make sure you take a look first. Use Penguin’s free reading planner to record any to-be-read books.
 
These book pickers are more for adults, so why don’t you explore your next read!

Picture Books about Reading

Again! by Emily Gravett

"It's nearly Cedric the dragon's bedtime – there's just time for his mum to read him his favourite book. Unfortunately for her, Cedric likes the story so much that he wants to hear it again . . . and again . . . and again . . .A cross dragon is a fiery dragon, and Cedric ends up burning a hole right through the book!" Two Hoots

Are You Sitting Comfortably? by Leigh Hodgkinson

"Hello there! Are you sitting comfortably? Are you sure? Have you found the perfect snuggle-up-and-lose-yourself-in-a-book place? Somewhere comfy, NOT itchy-fuzzy? Somewhere quiet, NOT buzz-buzzy? You have? Great! Unfortunately the little chap in this book isn't having quite as much luck as you are." Bloomsbury Publishing

Interrupting Chicken​ by David Ezra Stein

"It’s time for the little red chicken’s bedtime story —and a reminder from Papa to try not to interrupt. But the chicken can’t help herself! Whether the tale is HANSEL AND GRETEL or LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD or even CHICKEN LITTLE, she jumps into the story to save its hapless characters from doing some dangerous or silly thing. Now it’s the little red chicken’s turn to tell a story, but will her yawning papa make it to the end without his own kind of interrupting?" Candlewick Press

The Lonely Book​ by Kate Bernheimer

"When a wonderful new book arrives at the library, at first it is loved by all, checked out constantly, and rarely spends a night on the library shelf. But over time it grows old and worn, and the children lose interest in its story. The book is sent to the library's basement where the other faded books live. How it eventually finds an honored place on a little girl's bookshelf—and in her heart—makes for an unforgettable story sure to enchant anyone who has ever cherished a book." Schwartz & Wade

Benefits of Children Re-reading the Same Book
Benefits of Children Re-reading the Same Book

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