Reading aloud is so important for children, all ages. I remember when my oldest was probably around two months old. After feeding her in bed, she was propped up on my legs and very attentive as I read Bible stories to her from The Beginners Bible. She was an early talker and so before she was even one year old, she would ask me to read all the stories in her bible about babies 🙂 She has always enjoyed listening to me read aloud to her. And now she is 9 years old, we still include a few read aloud times during our day.
Over the years things have changed. The time of day, the duration, the place, how many times in one day, and of course – the books themselves. With three children all at different stages, we have books tailored to each of them. Some books they all enjoy together and others are more suited to just one girl, they all enjoy that one-on-one mummy time 🙂
Here are some of our current read alouds:
Beatrix Potter, The Complete Tales
Little Pilgrims Progress
Aesops Fables – Aesop for Children
More Stories from Grandma’s Attic
I Heard Good News Today
Dot and the Kangaroo
A Little Bush Maid
A Little Girl After God’s Own Heart
Little House in the Big Woods
That probably sounds like a lot! But its really easy to fit these into our schedule. Some of these are only read once a week, just one chapter. Most of these we read altogether and only takes a few minutes each. My oldest will be performing in a Peter Pan production next month. As she hadn’t heard the story of Peter Pan before, I am reading her one chapter each morning before our day even starts. She is very capable of reading it herself, but she really enjoys me reading to her and I enjoy that precious time with her too. The younger two sometimes listen here, but mostly they are playing together which is fine by me. They will have a chance to hear Peter Pan another time.
Our school day starts with read alouds. This includes one story from Beatrix Potter, one Aesops Fable, and one chapter of Little Pilgrims Progress. Depending on which day of the week it is, we either read a longer chapter from one of our other books or move onto History or Science – both are also read alouds which I will discuss in another post.
At lunchtime we read poetry and a chapter from two of our books. Then we have bedtime reading too. Somewhere during our official school hours, each girl has time alone with mummy to hear a story that’s just for her.
During our longer (its only about 40mins) reading session in the morning, the girls are free to choose an activity to keep their hands busy if they like. The only rules as such are that they need to be quiet and keep fairly still 🙂 The younger two often choose to colour or draw, and the latest activity they have all been enjoying is finger knitting. There are tonnes of activities that could be used here, legos, puzzles, anything that can be done independently and quietly so they don’t disturb others 🙂
As we are nearing the end of some books, I usually know what is going to take its place. There is often excitement and sadness. Excitement for a new adventure! And sadness as we farewell another much loved character.
I hope you are inspired to include read alouds in your day to day activities.