Friday 26 September 2014

Reading Aloud: 11 Practical Thoughts

This is a mini-series about reading aloud. I'm no expert just a parent who has spent an enormous amount of time reading to her children, over the years.

 I posted about Five Benefits of Reading Aloud and one thing that it hasn't achieved for us.

Now some practical points.

  • Start young, really young. We have read aloud to the children from before they could crawl. I wrote about the benefit of this in the previous post.

  • When reading to several children, we start with books for the youngest. They may then listen to the older children's books or they may not but at least they have enjoyed some books. 

  • I've never found that reading completely above the child's head helps anyone. The child doesn't understand and it is rather tedious reading aloud to oneself. 

  • Give wriggly, younger children something to do while reading chapter books. We have one child who loves to colour but another who would much prefer to be making a Lego or Meccano model.

  • Have a drink to hand!

  • Sit somewhere comfortable. We usually read on the sofa but have read in bed, in the garden, in a tent, in a den, at a picnic, on the train and probably more places. I don't read in the car. We have audio books for the car.

  • If the children don't like the book, change books.

  • If you don't like the book, stop reading. There are plenty of other books out there!

  • There are many occasions in a day for reading. I tend to read aloud at breakfast, in the early afternoon and at bedtime. My husband reads the Bible aloud at a mealtime and then reads to the younger children at bedtime. Yes, they often have books from both parents at bedtime.

  • We tend to stop reading aloud, except the Bible, when the child is a very competent reader. By this, I mean, able to read classics competently on their own, although I know many families carry on with read alouds beyond this stage. 

  • We read a mixture of books. Current read alouds are Leading Little Ones to God, Caddie Woodlawn, The wanderings of Odysseus, Monasteries (a history book by Unstead for my history lover), Jungle Doctor pulls a leg plus picture books.
What do you do to ensure your read aloud time goes well? It is always fun to know what other families are reading. Please share!

Hip Homeschool Moms

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  1. These are some great tips. I started reading to my daughter when she was in the NICU after she was born. It gave me something to do when I visited her. Yes, we had visiting hours.

  2. There are some brilliant ideas here - thank you for taking the time to write this. I nearly always forget a drink when reading and it results in a sore throat and sad mummy:(

  3. We love to read aloud, although I stopped reading to my older three for a short while because T said he preferred to read himself. I regret stopping and over the past few months have started it up. Reading aloud together, even with a reluctant listener, is so important. I think it helps knit together many ideas for discussion which we found were lost if they were reading alone.

  4. we are reading through a geography book, ripley's believe it or not, the warrior series (been doing this series a long time), Riley Mae, and a couple other books. :)