Our home is a home in which we read aloud. Every day. Even to the teens and tweens.
It wasn’t always this way. In fact, there was a time in my parenthood where I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to read aloud to a teenager. After all, they could just read the book for themselves! Well let me tell you, there’s something magical that happens when you read aloud as a family.
◦ 📚You grow closer. Reading aloud draws every one in, and suddenly, you’re all wondering what’s going to happen on the next page, or in the next chapter!
◦ 📚You create a family culture. Since you’ve shared the same books, you’ll often refer to them in conversations, or talk about a certain character as an example. Your family shares the experience of the book together, and referring back to it solidifies that shared experience.
◦ 📚 Your kids will look forward to bedtime. Or whenever you read together. Really. Hard to believe, but your kids will really look forward to hearing the next chapter of an exciting book. All of our kids get ready for bed more quickly so that there’s more time to read.
So how do you start reading together as a family? Tell the kids you want to try it…for two weeks, for a month, for one book, whatever you feel like is realistic for you. Often bedtime is the easiest time to start, because it’s a quieter slower time. Gather all the kids in one room, (make sure everyone has a blanket to snuggle under), turn down the lights and use a flashlight or lantern to read with. Read one chapter a night as you slowly work up to being by a read aloud family.
Kids talking while you’re reading? Give them a chance to get used to it if this is a new thing. Explain to them that this is a quiet time, and pause your reading until they’re quiet, rather than trying to talk over them. Try it out for a few weeks, and see how it works for your family!
Some of our favorite read alouds have been:
◦ The Chronicles of Narnia series
◦ Beverly Cleary Books
◦ Charlottes Web
◦ The Laura Ingalls Wilder Series
◦ The Hobbit
◦ The Green Ember Series
What are your favorite books to read aloud?