In 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?