The Read Aloud Revival

RAR-Banner1In our home we do a lot of reading. In fact, if you see my children without a book I would be surprised. Since birth our children have been taught the value of reading. We read to them before they could hold their heads up, taught them to read at the earliest age possible, visit the library religiously, and are constantly encouraging great reads that come to our attention.

When our children were much littler we did a lot of reading together. But, over the years and as they’ve developed their own reading skills, we seem to be doing less and less reading together. Oh, sure; I read at them. History and science always include a little reading. But, reading for the sake of reading – reading for pleasure and discussion – somehow seem to pass us by.

Especially with our older children, I’ve noticed the tendency to pass along book suggestions for them to read on their own. I vet the books, drop a hint they should read them, and engage them after the book has been read, asking questions and discussing major plot points and world views. However, reading together with my high school student has been a thing of the past.

This year, we’re making an attempt to rectify this situation. This year, we are engaging in the Read Aloud Revival.

What is the Read Aloud Revival? Essentially, it’s a return to reading good books. Reading them together; reading them aloud as a family. It’s reading wonderful literature and taking the time to enjoy them together. On a deeper level, it’s discussing these incredible works, taking away lessons from each read and evaluating their importance.

So, exactly how has this changed our homeschooling routine? Instead of merely assigning these excellent reads to my children and discussing them after they’ve read them, we are now reading them together. We read aloud as a family everyday. We are purposeful in our reading and dedicated to the time set aside for this activity.

We have set apart our mornings to read, starting off our learning with great literature. Each day we read a selection of poetry and a chapter (or two) of our current read. Thus far we have completed four books and read collections from several wonderful poets during the course of our year.

I am truly sorry for the few years we missed out on this wonderful habit. I remember fondly all those years of little people sitting in my lap. Somehow I lost sight that growing kiddos enjoy that special time as well.

Does this mean my children no longer read on their own? Heaven forbid! I don’t think I could stop them from reading if I tried. No, our children still inhale books by the dozens. But, now, we’re also reading a chosen few together; enjoying the richness of literature and sharing in the adventures.

(If you’re interested in joining the Read Aloud Revival or listening to their excellent podcasts, follow THIS link to learn what it’s all about!)

🔔Time to Chime In: Is reading aloud a regular habit in your homeschooling routine? Which books would you recommend we read next?

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13 thoughts on “The Read Aloud Revival

  1. We love to read aloud! I bought up all the abridged classics (so the littles can understand too) and I read a chapter to them each day. Current book: Heidi. I love reading but have little time to do it. So I enjoy it as much as the kids 🙂

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  2. This is one part of our day I really look forward to because, yes, my 16 year old still lets me read to him. Right now it’s Harry Potter- he’s never read them,and I don’t mind reading them again. But we usually do one or two others in between that are more of a classic nature or Living Book…. But next we have planned Ben Pepper! I was so excited to find it recently at a library book sale – sort of thinking for my younger son- but showed it to my older son when I got home. He says- ‘hey, isn’t the five little pepper the book that got me calling you ‘Mamsie’? When I said yes, he immediately asked if I’d read it to him! Oh the goose bumps! So- yes, he’s a junior but we are reading Ben Pepper very soon!! Thanks for the link above- I’m excited to look into that…but not as excited as I am over Ben Pepper and my 16 year old! 😉

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  3. We inhale books here, too. I feel so blessed that my 12-year old and 17-year old both love for me to read to them. Currently my son and I are just finishing up, Treasure Island, after reading, Around the World in 80 Days. Next we will be reading, Hoot. My daughter and I have recently read, The Princess Bride and soon we’ll be starting, Little Women. Not too ago we all read, Mary Poppins together. Even my college age daughter joined us for that one. 🙂

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  4. I think it’s so important to keep reading to your kids after they’re independent readers! Good for you starting up again! You can follow my Great Books to Read to BIG Kids series here: We just finished The Three Musketeers!

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  5. We do read aloud a good portion of our day. I’ve always read history aloud since we use Beautiful Feet Books and their curriculum guides mentioned the importance of reading aloud all the way through high school. We also do Brave Writer language arts through literature. I also read these aloud and then we have a passage to study for copywork, dictation and grammar. We also read poetry aloud together for Poetry Tea Time and read Shakespeare together.

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