(This post was written by author, forever-friend and previous blogging partner Candy Reid.)
I started reading out loud to my children over 20 years ago when my oldest son was so new to this world he couldn’t even hold up his sweet, fuzzy little head. Over the past couple of decades, I’ve read literally hundreds of thousands of pages to my children and enjoyed every minute of it.
Well, there were some books I enjoyed less than others, e.g., Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a sweet story and I love the main idea, but even the greatest of fans would have to admit that the mom in the book is a little creepy. I mean, seriously? Climbing into your grown son’s bedroom window to rock him while he sleeps? Not that I haven’t thought about it, mind you, but a little bit of impulse control goes a long way in separating normal from not-so-normal.
Over the years, our reading time has morphed and no longer resembles those sweet snuggles of the early days. We’ve expanded our reading repertoire to include much more than Little Golden Books and the like.
We’ve exchanged Eric Carle for C. S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien…
And Eve Bunting has been replaced by Madeleine L’Engle and Elizabeth George Speare…
The older boys are no longer here for reading and I can no longer snuggle the younger ones in a rocking chair. I miss my time with the older boys (thus the thoughts of climbing through a bedroom window to rock a grown man), but I’m making sure I treasure every moment with the not-so-little-anymores who still hang on every word and always ask for “Just one more chapter, pleeease!”
2 Ways Reading Can Play a Big Part in Your Home
Reading aloud can play a big part in your homeschooling efforts.
The early years of school for each my children have included the use of Five in a Row’s curriculum. FIAR was perfect for us; good books and lots of “lap time.” Now, in addition to age-appropriate reading that the children enjoy on their own, I choose our read-aloud material from literature that relates to the time period we’re studying, both fiction and non-fiction. It’s a wonderful way to bring history alive while increasing the kids’ vocabulary and stretching their imaginations!
Reading out loud affords you the wonderful opportunity to introduce children to literature they might not be able to read on their own.
The books that are chosen don’t need to be limited to a child’s grade or age level. They’ll comprehend more than you’d expect and, of course, you always have the freedom to stop and explain things in more detail.
Most parents read to their children when they’re very small and perhaps until they’re in the earlier grades, but I’ve found that many parents don’t see a need to continue this practice when their children begin to read more independently.
My advice would be: Don’t stop. When they stop listening, tie ‘em to a chair and read anyway. (Just kidding about that last part.) I really don’t think any parent is going to look back from their empty nest and say, “Man, I wish hadn’t wasted all that time reading to the kids!”
As your kids reach the teen years, you may have to change out the books, or add magazine and web articles to the mix. But don’t use that as an excuse for not reading aloud together! The new material will add a richness and variety to your conversations that will be treasured forever.Keep reading to your children as they grow, for as long as they’ll listen.... Click To Tweet
If you’re not sure where to start, reading lists abound!
Here’s one to get you started…