When we started home educating, almost 18 months ago, I started reading aloud. Of course, I had read aloud to babies, toddlers and early readers, and still do, but with the busyness of life and homework and after school activities reading aloud to school aged children disappeared. They read to me the school's allocated 10 minutes a day, "Could you try to use a bit more expression", but I stopped reading aloud to them.
We took our, then, 8 year old out of school and started a steep learning curve. I wasn't sure that reading aloud was a proper use of time but thought I would give it a go with the aims to reading just above ds's reading level or to encourage him to read other books.
Reading aloud has been a success although like most such things providing hard evidence is difficult. After all, performing a randomised controlled trial of reading aloud would be impossible and probably unethical.
My guess, from my own observations, is that ds has benefitted in terms of vocabulary and general knowledge although I have been less successful in persuading him to read the read aloud books on his own. The books that I read seem to be set apart as "reading aloud" books.
I will list some books that have worked well. Books to avoid-I can't read funny books well, I laugh too much. I've refused to read "The family from One End Street" for this reason so ds has to read this himself.
We often link the reading into our history or geography so when we were learning about North America, we read "Farmer Boy".
To my surprise, ds wanted me to go on to read the rest of the series, despite the fact that they are about girls so we've read the whole series which lasted rather longer than our study of North America.
We did take a break from the "Little House" series when we studied South America to read "Journey to the River Sea" which is an exciting story with evocative descriptions of the Amazon.
When we eventually finished the "Little House" series, we were studying the Tudors and the Netherlands so combined the two by reading about the Rise of the House of Orange and the Dutch wars against the Spanish.
During the holiday, I read part of "Ned" aloud. This doesn't fit into our current projects but ds loved "Ned" which is a fictional story about a Barnado boy.
I've written recently about our current history readaloud, "Lord of the Forest" so won't re-iterate here.
In addition, we are finishing "The horse and his boy".
Next, I'm not completely sure but probably some GA Henty to fit in with our history project for the next half term, the Stewarts.