Read alouds. I used to be totally on top of these. Jayme and I snuggled and read book after book.
But then, Owen started ripping books. If I was reading a book, he’d snuggle for a second and then use his ninja skills to rip a page completely out in one swift movement. Then he started eating books.
So our books got moved upstairs, out of reach. For a while we left board books downstairs, until Owen started destroying those too.
I’d read a book to the younger kids at nighttime, but that was the extent of our read aloud. I wanted more.
Over the years, I’ve tried different times of day for our reading. We tried:
Reading during a meal
I love the idea of reading aloud during breakfast or lunch. I can see how that’d totally work for most families. But, I still need to be one on one with Owen during meal time, especially now that he’s outgrown his booster seat.
If I don’t hold onto him, he flops to the ground or walks around the table bugging everyone. I’d put him in his wheelchair for meals, but he’s such a messy eater that I hate to do that.
So scratch meal time reading off the table.
Reading aloud before quiet time
We try to get some active play in before quiet time. You know, so the kids are actually cheerful to sit down and play quietly for a bit.
I also tend to get focused on what I’m going to get done during quiet time, and was always forgetting to actually read.
Integrating read alouds into homeschool time
It makes sense to add read alouds into our school activities. After all, we’re all gathered around and working. But, it just didn’t work for us. Especially as the kids are getting older and school is taking more time.
Asking them to sit still and listen for even longer just didn’t work too well for us.
So what did I do?
My goal for this school year was to read aloud all of the Little House books. There’s so much knowledge and history packed into the books, and it was past time to share this.
I’ve learned that for my family, the best time to do read alouds is after dinner table chores are done, before we do our evening Bible time as a family.
Why does this time work?How I make read aloud time fun
Most kids, including mine, don’t do so well just sitting and listening quietly. Their brains listen better when they’re engaged in an activity with their hands.
So now we bring out the paper and crayons. The kids have to draw a picture inspired by the book, and then they’re free to draw whatever they’d like.
Simon and Brynna usually join us at the table, and they draw too.
We end up with some great pictures, and I get insight into what they’re picking up on in the story. A little glimpse into their brains.
The picture below shows the pictures that the kids colored one day last week.
Do you do read alouds?
How do you work them into your day? Did you run into any problems trying to integrate it into your day? Please share in the comments section below!