It is the last week of our winter break and we have enjoyed time off the school schedule, but we have kept reading our read aloud each evening.
Our story is just too exciting to put down and my kids groan if I stop for bedtime.
Read Aloud books are like glue that holds our learning and journey together. Even older siblings join the younger children to hear the story again – it is a treasured family time.
We pack read alouds for travels. When we travelled for over a year, I fitted all my homeschool essentials in one on-board travel case. Most the space was taken up with books and a few other odds and ends. Our stories were constant thread amidst the changing and uncertain scenery of our lives. And despite the lack of regular schedules, the read alouds kept us growing and learning together.
We read together when the power goes out. We read aloud when the Internet connection fails, or the laptop crashes – the book held firmly in our grip while technology fails.
I read aloud when children are sick and can’t do school. In fact, there is no better glue to keep a mother sane and the children restful than to lie together in bed and read aloud. We might have to catch up on disciplined subjects and seat work, but generally we stay on track.
When important visitors stay over, we withdraw to a room to read, but I have recently read aloud while friends stayed for a few days, and I watched their friend’s faces light up with delight when we took out the book. Despite having just a brief overview of the story and characters, the amazing story captured their hearts and minds and we all loved the time listening together.
And now and then, disasters and crises arise. Unexpected difficulties, sudden changes, breakdowns, delays, or disruptions unsettle everyone. There is nothing better than drawing the young ones together on the couch, or under a shady tree with a good read aloud and forget the problems and find comfort and inspiration of a great story.
Moody and stressed mothers may safely turn to read alouds to ease tensions in the school room. A child, unable to cope with his temper and conquer the spelling and maths, can relax and unwind listening to a read aloud. It is a real relief!
We enjoy all the characters; protagonists and antagonists, topics and themes, countries and places, adventures and troubles, periods and times in these books. And some lively discussions follow some chapters! I love to read with expression and use accents – much to my children’s amusement (and irritation!)
I choose literature-based education for my young children. I use (and re-use) Sonlight and Footprints On Our Land curricula and have an amazing choice of read alouds that older children can read themselves one day as they mature.
They may forget many facts, but they seldom forget living books. A living book brings history to life! Their minds are filled, their imaginations ignited! They learn new words, build up an incredible vocabulary and generate a fabulous general knowledge. They learn without even knowing it! :)
I love read alouds!
When all else fails –
READ ALOUD TO YOUR CHILDREN