Picture Books Are Not Just For Young Children
One day as I sat in a college-level class at Campbell University (Go Camels!), my professor brought out a picture book and began reading to the class. To say we were surprised was an understatement; most of us had not had a picture book read to us since early elementary school.
As future elementary educators, most of us understood the importance of reading to young children. Still, we had not been taught the benefits of reading aloud at other ages, especially using picture books.
Maybe more surprising than the professor reading the book was how much we all enjoyed it. It made such an impression that I still remember it today, and it has been more than a few years since that day.
The day our professor read that book, he shared the value of reading picture books to audiences of all ages. I have never forgotten that lesson.
What Is So Special about Picture Books?
We often think of picture books as having simple words accompanying the pictures. While some picture books use simple language, picture books often have eloquent vocabulary and engaging stories.
“Generally speaking, you’ll find the best, most beautiful language in picture books.” Sarah Mackenzie, Read-Aloud Revival
The pictures can often help students with understanding the new and varied vocabulary.
In addition, picture books help students learn to visualize what they are reading and encourage creativity and imagination.
Reading picture books together can help create a bond and shared experiences without ever leaving home. Children and parents alike can travel to faraway places, meet famous people, and even have adventures through the pages of a book.
The Benefit of Picture Books for Older Children and Teens
One benefit of picture books for older children is to help create memories and traditions. Our family has several picture books that we read each year for different holidays. We started when they were younger, but my teens still enjoy hearing them each year. One such favorite is Cranberry Thanksgiving.
Picture books can also be a great way to introduce more challenging or complex topics gently. It can give children an introduction to a topic that may be emotionally difficult such as disease, death, or persecution.
You can use picture books to help engage students in topics they might not otherwise explore. Reading those books often leads to them reading other books or researching the subject further.
There are many benefits to re-reading books, and using picture books helps create more opportunities for re-reading because they do not take as long to read as chapter books. (For more information on the benefits of re-reading, check out this podcast from Read-Aloud Revival)
Using Picture Books in Your Homeschool
All in all, picture books are an excellent resource for your family and homeschool, no matter the ages of your children. People of all ages should enjoy the rich language and beautiful artwork provided by picture books.
How do you use picture books in your homeschool? What are some of your favorites?
Recommendations for Picture Books for Older Children and Teens
Blogging Through The Alphabet with Books!! (Not all of these are picture books but many feature picture books.)
A Year of Picture Books
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